Day 11 – If a tree grows in a box, does it make new mass?

In class, we were summing up our work on conservation and the particle model of matter. I asked them to give me examples of phenomena that might lead someone to believe matter was created or destroyed and then give a particle reason why it appears that way.

Immediately, someone mentioned explosions. With some discussion, we narrowed down that they must convert solids or liquids to a lot of gas. Our next suggestion lead to a great moment. Does a tree create matter when it grows? Now most my students can easily talk about photosynthesis. But there is still a missing connection between it and the life of plants. In the end, they seemed to have a deeper understanding. Well quizzes are only a day or two away…

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