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Host introduces matter and Cross Cutting Concepts. Teacher and students discuss the properties of matter. Students measure the volume and density of pre-1982 and post-1982 pennies. Unit introduces Cross Cutting Concepts: Systems and System Models , Cause and Effect, and Structure and Function.

Premiere Date: July 11, 2016 | Runtime: 00:10:50

In this segment, our students learn about the properties of matter using the densities of pennies as a model.

Support Materials

Density of Pennies
Unit 2A Note Taking Guide & Segment Questions
Crosscutting Concepts  
System and System Models

Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

Structure and Function

The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

Cause and Effect

Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

Science & Engineering Practices  
Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Students at any grade level should be able to ask questions of each other about the texts they read, the features of the phenomena they observe, and the conclusions they draw from their models or scientific investigations. For engineering, they should ask questions to define the problem to be solved and to elicit ideas that lead to the constraints and specifications for its solution. (NRC Framework 2012, p. 56)

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several different kinds of investigations during their K-12 years. At all levels, they should engage in investigations that range from those structured by the teacher—in order to expose an issue or question that they would be unlikely to explore on their own (e.g., measuring specific properties of materials)— to those that emerge from students’ own questions. (NRC Framework, 2012, p. 61)

Georgia Standards of Excellence  

Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the chemical and physical properties of matter resulting from the ability of atoms to form bonds.


Plan and carry out an investigation to gather evidence to compare the physical and chemical properties at the macroscopic scale to infer the strength of intermolecular and intramolecular forces.

Request Teacher Toolkit  

The Chemistry Matters teacher toolkit provides instructions and answer keys for labs, experiments, and assignments for all 12 units of study. GPB offers the teacher toolkit at no cost to Georgia educators. Complete and submit this form to request the teacher toolkit. You only need to submit this form one time to get materials for all 12 units of study.