DW Students recently studied dry ice as part of a chemistry unit in sixth-grade. They analyzed what happened to dry ice when they compared it with typical water ice.
In conducting experiments, students learned that when dry ice is exposed to air, a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2) is released through a process called sublimation. When observing dry ice in a bottle with a balloon over the top, they watched the balloon inflate because the carbon dioxide gas eventually filled the space inside it. Other experiments included observing both types of ice in soapy water, comparing the sublimation rates of different sized pieces of dry ice, and comparing the time it takes for similar pieces of dry ice and water ice to either sublimate or melt.
These experiments helped students understand phase change when they compared and contrasted water ice and dry ice. Students learned the differences between melting and sublimation as well as freezing versus deposition.