Dry Ice Week
Dry Ice Week, a yearly tradition in the LS Science program, takes place every year around Halloween and offers a teaching opportunity for students to learn about properties of frozen CO2. Younger students begin the year by talking about matter and properties of matter. During this introduction, students investigate the phases of matter: solids, liquids, and gases. Dry Ice is an interesting example because at room temperature, it is a gas and requires high pressure to become a liquid.

Grade 5 begins the year with an introduction to chemistry. During this introduction, students learn about chemical and physical changes, phases of matter and matter behavior, atoms, molecules, acids and bases, and the Periodic Table of Elements. Grade 5 uses Vernier pH sensors to track the change in pH of a liquid as they add dry ice to it. As the process of sublimation takes place, it produces carbonic acid which results in a drop of pH levels over time, and students witness this change happening on a live chart displayed on the smart board. Students in Grade 5 have a deeper understanding of CO2 through the introduction to chemistry, and they act as mentors and guides for the younger groups as they safely investigate dry ice at the science benches.

Shevon Morris, LS Science Faculty, was happy to oversee another successful Dry Ice Week. Ms. Morris added, "I am always amazed by what students can bring into the conversation about dry ice. For example, Kindergarten student, Evan Ingrum, shared a story that his grandfather told him about how canaries were used by miners to check for the presence of CO2 in the mines. He said that they would send the canaries in first to see if it was safe to go into mines."

Kindergarten student, Kate Oudsema, said, "I loved getting to play with the dry ice gas! When I popped the bubbles at my table, I could feel how cold the glass got after the dry ice was in the water for a few minutes."