Younger pupils believe that all liquids contain water

Properties of Matter


Students may use the terms 'liquid' and 'water' synonymously. This may mean that students think of water as a 'prototype liquid', and use it to refer to liquids for lack of their having a more general concept of liquids. It may instead mean that they believe water is present in all liquids as a sort of essence of liquid-type properties, such as 'wetness'.

Some students think that any material melting into a transparent liquid is becoming water (e.g. melting candle wax).


  • Stavy, R., () Children's conception of changes in the state of matter: from liquid (or solid) to gas, Journal of research in science teaching, 27 (3)


    Review sheet

  • Andersson, B., () Pupils' Conceptions of Matter and its Transformations (age 12-16), Studies in Science Education, 18,


    Review sheet

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