Discussion: States of Matter

You may have heard of the quirky job application/interview question prompt –

“Explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”

Some companies will also add that the reader is a preschooler or an alien with no helpful prior knowledge. They are looking for an applicant’s ability to communicate clearly and efficiently, and with plenty of detail. Hopefully, the applicant can also show that they can anticipate areas of confusion and misunderstanding by providing a thorough explanation.

For this discussion you are going apply the strategy above to a post about the states of matter.

  1. Define a liquid, solid, and a gas in your own words. Describe each one like you would to a five year old.
  2. After posting your response, reply to one of your classmates. Try to find a counterexample that wouldn’t fit into their definition – pretend you are a very curious five year old! Example: So then tissue paper is a liquid, because it can be smushed up and fit into any shape container!
  3. After someone tries to challenge one of your posted definitions, respond with a more comprehensive explanation to better define that state of matter.
  4. If no one challenges you, post your answer to the following question, “Can everything be categorized as one of these three states of matter?”