- Use the material reducer to explore the structure and properties of matter.
- Understand that substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways.
Matter is made of smaller parts called atoms. All natural and synthetic materials are composed of elements (individual atoms), molecules, or compounds.
Many materials have similar elemental compositions but different properties. For example most stone-like materials are composed of silicon and oxygen. Whilst living things are largely carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen.
In Minecraft, the material reducer can be used to see what elements form common materials. This is similar to real word instruments used to measure the elemental composition of materials.
1) Building on the concept that matter is composed of smaller parts. Explain that the most common element on Earth’s surface is oxygen.
2) Have student load the supplied Minecraft world file. In this scavenger hunt world, students will use the material reducer to find as many materials as you can that contain oxygen.
3) Once they have confirmed that the Minecraft block contain oxygen, they should add the block to one of the picture frames. Have a competition to see who can fill all their frames the fastest. Once they have finished, you could extend by having assigning students to find a different element.
4) After completing the activity, discuss techniques scientists use to determine the elemental composition of materials in the real world (ex: CHNS Analysis, Mass Spectrometry).
5) To further demonstrate the concept that oxygen atoms exist as part of certain types of matter, conduct an experiment such as making “Elephant Toothpaste” or mixing vinegar and baking soda to demonstrate the presence of oxygen.
Students demonstrate understanding that substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways.
- Critical Thinking
- Project Based Learning#