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Students Explore the Properties of Matter

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Students at Miller Avenue School put their thinking caps to use for a hands-on investigation into the properties of matter.

As part of the district’s Mystery Science program, an innovative approach to learning, second graders in Mrs. Janelle Bellotti’s class started the unit by exploring the different properties of materials used for clothing, such as texture, flexibility and absorbency. In the Mad Hatter activity, the student-scientists defined the problem that a hat is needed to shade them from the sun. They carried out an investigation of the properties of provided materials – paper plate, paper bag, paper towel, tin foil, string and clothespins. They then designed their own solution by using the materials to create a hat that blocks the sun.

“They noticed that certain materials had similar patterns and properties and tested the function of the materials,” Mrs. Bellotti said, and added that students liked being able to see their classmates’ ideas and how they made their hats differently.