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published by the WGBH Educational Foundation
This instructional module explores how molecular changes determine physical characteristics of materials. It opens with a short video clip that introduces atomic arrangement of solids by focusing on carbon in different forms. A second video discusses the structural changes to a water molecule that occur during phase change. Students then investigate differences among carbon forms through digital images of graphite and diamond structures. For gifted/talented learners, try the extension activity on buckyballs.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
- Technology
= Multimedia
General Physics
- Properties of Matter
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- High School
- Middle School
- Elementary School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Demonstration
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Parent/Guardians
- Learners
- text/html
- video/quicktime
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Free access
© 2009 WGBH
buckyball, carbon, change of state, characteristics of matter, chemistry video, materials, matter, molecular structure, physical change, states of matter, video, video clip
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 19, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 22, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 8, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M1b. The atoms of any element are like other atoms of the same element, but are different from the atoms of other elements.
  • 6-8: 4D/M1cd. Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
  • 6-8: 4D/M3ab. Atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion. Increased temperature means greater average energy of motion, so most substances expand when heated.
  • 6-8: 4D/M6c. Carbon and hydrogen are common elements of living matter.
  • 6-8: 4D/M8. Most substances can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas depending on temperature.
  • 6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2009), WWW Document, (
PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2009), <>.
APA Format
PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships. (2010, December 8). Retrieved June 24, 2019, from WGBH Educational Foundation:
Chicago Format
WGBH Educational Foundation. PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, December 8, 2010. (accessed 24 June 2019).
MLA Format
PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2009. 8 Dec. 2010. 24 June 2019 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2019}, Number = {24 June 2019}, Month = {December 8, 2010}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%T PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships
%D December 8, 2010
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%C Boston
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D December 8, 2010
%T PBS LearningMedia: Structure-Property Relationships
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%V 2019
%N 24 June 2019
%8 December 8, 2010
%9 text/html

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