Some students do not regard a change of state as being related to a specific temperature

Properties of Matter


Students may explain changes of state in terms of the macroscopic properties of substances; they may think that melting and boiling points are properties of a substance.

Resources to address this

  • Change of volume: water to water vapour  (11-16)

    This experiment can be used to show that water changes to water vapour at a specific temperature.

    View Resource


  • Boz, Y., () Turkish Pupils' Conceptions of the Particulate Nature of Matter, Journal of Science Education, 15 (2) 203-213.

    Describing changes of state using the particle model can be difficult for students and, as a result, some of them avoid using it if they can. This means that the students retain several misconceptions that could be addressed if they had considered how atoms and molecules behave. This paper outlines how the students’ conceptions should be challenged using simulations and appropriate models.

    Paper digest

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