Chemistry Physics
atom force gas kinetic energy particles phase transition pressure Temperature
Age Group
13 14 15 16
Expected time
2 periods
Field trip with ghosts.PDF
beaker symbol

Field trip with ghosts?

What’s the mystery? A group of students are spending the night in a cabin. After preparing some food, they suddenly hear a strange noise from the kitchen: a can of oil has fallen down from the oven and something or someone has crushed it. Some of the students think that there is a ghost in the cabin.
Domain(s) Chemistry/Physics.
Subdomain keywords Temperature, force, particles, atom, pressure, gas, phase transition, kinetic energy.
Age group 13 to 16 years old.
Expected time for the mystery Approximate time for teacher preparation: one hour.Approximate time in the classroom: two hours.
Safety/supervision Remember safety when working with butane burners.Disclaimer: the authors of this teaching material will not be held responsible for any injury or damage to persons or properties that might occur in its use.
Preparation and list of materials Butane burners, tripod, beaker, matches, soda cans.
Learning objectives Think critically about experiments. Learn about atmospheric pressure, balancing forces, the fact that temperature is a measure of particle velocity, and kinetic energy.
Resources This webpage presents useful insights on atmospheric pressure:

The mystery is adapted from the book:

Sibel Erduran and Aybuke Pabuccu: Bonding Chemistry and Argument: Teaching and Learning Argumentation through Chemistry Stories (2012).