States of Matter

The States of Matter lecture lasts in the region of 90 minutes and is designed to be delivered to children in all year groups up to and including year 8. If necessary the lecture can be either condensed into approximately 70 minutes or extended to about 2 hours since the lecture invariably leads to a lively interactive question and answer session.

Children will be actively involved in a range of experiments during which they will become atoms & molecules and even temperatures on a living thermometer!

Besides witnessing the fascinating phenomena the various experiments demonstrate, the children are invited to participate in many other activities.

The lecture includes:

  • A definition of the 3 states of matter.
  • An understanding that air is a mixture of gases.
  • An understanding of water vapour and humidity.
  • A simple introduction to molecular structures.
  • An insight into Cryogenics.
  • A practical appreciation of Gas Pressure.
  • A demonstration of some of the properties of Carbon Dioxide.
  • An enthusiasm for science

Newall Green Primary school find out that adding too much carbon dioxide to your fizzy drink can be very interesting, fun and a little loud. Standing back 20 metres, they try and guess when the bottle is going to hiss – they soon find out!

Filmed at Newall Green High School for their Science is Fun Day.


We not only believe that emphasis on safety is important for the well-being of the children but also an activity in which they can participate. Although we emphasise that there should be no eating or drinking in the science laboratories, we do invite one or two children to drink together with us a ‘mad scientists brew’ made up of water, food colouring and carbon dioxide.

During part of the lecture we use liquid Nitrogen and frozen Carbon Dioxide (Cardice) which are both extremely cold substances. We do not usually allow the children to come into contact with the Nitrogen however, after specific instruction, we do sometimes allow the children to handle the Cardice.

We are aware that some children are nervous about balloons and things that go bang. During this demonstration quite a lot of things do tend to go bang and not always when planned. Should you have any children who are affected by loud and/or unexpected noise please do make us aware of the fact and we will take particular care to alert them and/or a member of staff in anticipation of a bang occurring.

As a spectacular demonstration of the power of pressurised gas, a plastic pop bottle filled with water and Cardice is exploded outdoors. The resultant explosion is too violent for the experiment to be undertaken indoors, consequently we tend to perform this experiment in the playground or in a similarly appropriate open space. The noise can be equated to that of two shotguns being fired simultaneously. This experiment tends to have a rather dramatic effect on the children themselves purely from reaction to the intensity of the explosion.

If any of the above conflicts with your school’s policies, please advise us so that we can make the appropriate modifications

Risk Assessment