My school’s science team realized our students could learn about physical changes and physical properties using glass tubing. We purchased one meter long glass tubing from one of our science supply sources. Students observed me demonstrate how to heat the glass until it became “soft” and would gently bend. I showed how the tubing could be bent into circles, angles, and wrapped around itself. Students then applied the concepts as they created their own “silly straws” using the glass tubing.
Safety concerns for this activity included:
- Wearing safety goggles
- Wearing heat safe gloves
- Tying long hair back
- Having only ONE student near the Bunsen Burner at a time
- Notifying a teacher if glass broke in the process
Students were allowed to create their own designs. One of my favorite looked like the edges of four pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
STEM Snack questions: Please respond to these questions in a comment below:
- What design would you like to create (or have a student create) using glass tubing?
- What other concepts might students learn from this activity?
- What additional safety concerns do you think should be addressed?
- Interact with at least one other person's response to this discussion.
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- Interact with at least one other person’s response to this discussion