We’ve Got the Solution!

Different objects

Big Ideas: 

  • The particle theory of matter helps to explain the physical characteristics of matter.
  • Matter can be classified according to its physical characteristics.


Inquiry Skills Used

This is a scientific inquiry/investigation, not research.

Safety Considerations

Wear goggles for the mixing of the rice and salt as well as the Where to Go from Here, rubbing alcohol and water extension.


This activity helps to illustrate the particle theory and how it applies to solutions.  Some earlier work using the particle theory is a prerequisite.

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cool tabletAre you new to using Twitter as part of your Professional Learning Network?

These blogs will help ease you into the experience.

(1)  This is version 4 of Brandon Grasley’s excellent blog series.  “How I Use Twitter Professionally”

(2) Join an education chat.  Click here for the link to the official education chat list.  

(3) Get started with this list of the best resources for do-it-yourself PD.  “DIY PD: Resource Roundup”

(4) Simple tips on how to grow your PLN and improve the quality of your interactions with other educators to advance your craft.  “20 Tips for Creating a PLN”  



The Strange Science of the Placebo Effect


Niemi, M. B. (2009). Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind: Scientific American.Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind: Scientific American.

Price, D. D., Finniss, D. G., & Benedetti, F. (2008). A comprehensive review of the placebo effect: recent advances and current thought. Annu. Rev. Psychol.,59, 565-590.

Finniss, D. G., Kaptchuk, T. J., Miller, F., & Benedetti, F. (2010). Biological, clinical, and ethical advances of placebo effects. The Lancet, 375(9715), 686-695.

Marchant, J. (2015). Strong placebo response thwarts painkiller trials. Nature News http://www.nature.com/news/strong-pla…

Infographic: Sorting Through Our Space Junk – World Science Festival

This infographic provides some insight into the litter we have scattered over space over the decades. Space junk, which scientists call orbital debris, poses direct threats to satellites and spacecraft. For instance, the International Space Station has to sidestep dangerous pieces of trash and satellites regularly factor in debris when deciding on a launch date. The countries that explore space are trying to find ways to clean up the mess before the clutter makes launches impossible. In the meantime, it’s helpful to know what’s up there.By: Julie Rossman and Roxanne PalmerSign up for our free newsletter to see exclusive features and be the first to get news and updates on upcoming WSF programs.

Source: Infographic: Sorting Through Our Space Junk – World Science Festival

STAO’s Twitter Professional Learning Network (PLN)

With the gcool tabletrowth in technology and social media, teachers have realized that they can connect with other professionals beyond the walls of their own school through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and can curate (and find) resources on Pinterest.

Edublogs has a great definition of PLNs.  Click here…

The Personal:

Having a PLN is about making connections and building personal relationships with teachers, school administrators, university professors, and experts around the world. No matter where you are in the world, there’s always someone online available to answer questions, share their expertise, and simply chat about what’s happening in their lives and classrooms.

The Learning:

Having a PLN is about sharing ideas and resources, collaboration, and learning. We may share our learning, ideas and expertise in different ways; using different media and tools, but the essence is the same: the PLN is simply the best professional development you will ever participate in – and it’s available 24/7.

The Network:

The defining feature of the PLN is that it is a global learning network, enabling people to tap into and share diverse, global perspectives on teaching strategies, educational issues, and technologies. If takes time and effort to build these connections, but it’s well worth the effort.”

Click here for more details: