We are surrounded by mixtures — the air we breathe, the food we eat and drink, and our personal grooming products. Chefs try mixing ingredients in different ways to make tasty combinations and interesting textures. Through inquiry, scientists have developed mixtures that are useful for all kinds of purposes, such as alloys, amalgams and paints, to name but a few. Indeed, it can be surprising just how many things that we take for granted every day are the result of inquiry into mixtures. For example, how different our lives would be without the myriad of inks, glues and detergents at our disposal.
In the All mixed up unit students learn about materials that don’t mix well, and others that are difficult to separate. Through hands-on investigations, students explore how changing the quantities of materials in a mixture can alter its properties and uses.