(BigCountryHomepage.com) – Summer is in full swing across the Big Country! Temperatures are soaring and the sun is shining, which makes it the perfect time for… Science? In this summer series Weather Workshop experiment, Meteorologist Kayleigh Thomas is going to cool us down with a sweet treat as we learn about the states of matter.  

Directions:

Use the ice cream scoop to put ice cream into the bottom of your glass.

Slowly fill up the cup about 3/4 of the way with the root beer.

Closely observe what happens as you pour the root beer, and enjoy your sweet treat!

What is happening:

While you just made a great, cold, and tasty treat to cool off from the summer heat, you also experienced the states of matter in the process.  

Everything on earth is made up of atoms. These basic building blocks of nature are smaller than a speck of dust. But without them, life could not exist. Atoms also bond together to create molecules.

From those tiny atoms and molecules, everything is formed!  

Depending on how tightly those atoms and molecules are packed together, determines the state of matter that object takes. There are three main states of matter:  

Solid – A material that is a solid holds its shape and form.

Another way to think of it is that a solid, when left untouched, won’t flow. In a solid, the atoms and molecules are packed very closely together, making the material rigid and stiff.

In this experiment, our solid is our ice cream. While the ice cream can be molded and compressed, if left alone in a cold room it would retain its shape.

Liquid – A liquid takes the shape of whatever container that it is in. The atoms and molecules in a liquid are farther apart than solids. This gives them the freedom to move around and gives a liquid its ability to flow.

Some liquids have their atoms and molecules closer together, this gives them a different thickness, or viscosity. As an example, honey is more viscous than our root beer we used for our float.

Gas – A gas is a substance that behaves like the air we breathe!

Gases, like liquids, take the shape of their container but are much lighter than their liquid counterparts. Their molecules are MUCH further apart and have plenty of room to move around freely.

In our experiment, the gas was produced by the reaction between the root beer and the ice cream. This left us the foam on the top of our float!  

Come back for our next Weather Workshop on July 14. We stream to KTAB and KRBC‘s Facebook pages live at 4:30 p.m. every other Thursday!

If you have any weather questions or experiments you want to see, send Meteorologist Kayleigh Thomas an email by clicking here. See you soon!