Monthly Archives: October 2014

Let’s Turn Up the Heat: STEAM that STEM!

Thanks to a backstage tour, we discovered that dry ice is what creates the dense fog that creeps onstage to create an eerie sense of danger.

Here’s the “secret” to creating that dense fog:  Start with dry ice (a.k.a. carbon dioxide!) in its solid form. Pour water over the dry ice and the solid transforms into a liquid. States of Matter become more “real” and often more exciting when the arts are part of the learning.

This very simple incorporation of drama allows children an opportunity for self-expression. Talk about how this scene makes the children “feel.” Some may be happy to be in an eerie setting while others might be a bit nervous!

Hannah 1Hannah 2

How does Hannah feel about the scene? Notice how she uses facial expression and her body to express emotion. The drama goal is to express feelings and emotions through facial expression and body movement. The science goal is to identify and respond to a change in states of matter.

Integrating the Arts into your classroom doesn’t have to be complicated. When we think about our classroom curriculum with the arts in mind, natural connections often present themselves. Here both the study of states of matter and the incorporation of drama were purposeful.

On another day, children can “dance” the states of matter. Working in small groups, how will they use their bodies to demonstrate the “tight fit” of molecules in a solid? What will happen to their bodies when that solid changes to a gas? When students apply what they know to a new setting (dance, in this case), they are using their knowledge to create a new way of looking at what they are experiencing.

This kind of engaging learning lasts a lifetime! For us, it gives new life to teaching at the same time. We hope that you’ll be inspired to try it.

Please tell us about teaching States of Matter through the ARTS in your classroom! Contact us at   We’d love to see you in action!

 Susan and Mary