The Particle Model and Phase Changes

What you need:

  • micro:bit x1

  • 3V battery source x1

The code was modified from the code that was uploaded to STEM Learning. On Microsoft’s MakeCode website, upload the code and change the following variables according to a chosen element or compound:

  • boiling_point
  • freezing_point
  • atmos_temp
  • temp (starting temperature of the substance)

The particle model demonstrates the difference in particle arrangement between the three most common phases. Phase changes can occur in different conditions. The simplest way is simply to increase or decrease temperature. When temperature changes, the kinetic energy of the particles in the phase changes. The relationship between temperature and kinetic energy of the particles is directly proportional. To put simply, the higher the temperature, the faster the particles move.

This activity takes advantage of the built-in accelerometer the micro:bit has. Once students change the necessary variables in the code, they can either shake the micro:bit to see the phase changes or changing the atmospheric temperature by clicking buttons A or B.

The image below shows how to change the variables for water.

  • boiling_point: 100
  • freezing_point: 0
  • atmos_temp: 25
  • temp: 30 longer.gif

The block-based JavaScript code is uploaded to my Github page.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Image of particle model is from Wikimedia Commons.