Students first get introduced to the concepts of pure substances and mixtures, and the particle theory by doing a photo-hunt for matter in their home and exploring the world of particles through images from electron microscopes. Then students design their own experiments following the scientific method to answer questions about the properties of matter. Scaffolding can be used to encourage gradual release of responsibility for choices of materials and methods. In a second activity, students are required to design and build a water purifying system using basic materials to separate the various ‘pollutants’, with a focus on disposal of the ‘refuse’ of the experiment in an eco-sensitive manner.

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