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Curricular Unit: Mixtures and Solutions

Contributed by: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder


This unit covers introductory concepts of mixtures and solutions. Students think about how mixtures and solutions, and atoms and molecules can influence new technologies developed by engineers. The first lesson explores the fundamentals of atoms and their structure. The building blocks of matter (protons, electrons, neutrons) are covered in detail. The next lesson examines the properties of elements and the periodic table — one method of organization for the elements. The concepts of physical and chemical properties are also reviewed. Finally, the last lesson introduces the properties of mixtures and solutions. A comparison of different mixtures and solutions, their properties and their separation qualities are discussed.

Engineering Connection

Engineers use the properties of matter to decide what materials to use when creating and building things. And, they use their knowledge of mixtures and solutions when designing new synthetic materials for a multitude of purposes. Imagination is great, and as technology advances and engineers learn more about the building blocks of matter, innovative types of technology move from imagination to reality.
Engineers understand the properties of metals so that they may bend or not bend, to expand and contract, and to hold certain amounts of weight — all important factors to considering when designing and creating things. Furthermore, engineers use the chemical properties of different elements to develop mixtures and substances for medicines, materials, and cleaning solutions, among thousands upon thousands of other products that we use in our lives every day.

Grade: 6 (5-7)

Keywords: atom, atomic number, atomic Structure, atomic theory, building blocks, chemical property, compounds, electric charge, electron, element, gas, isotope, liquid, matter, mixture, molecule, neutron, periodic table, proton, solid, solution

Related Subject Areas

Related Lessons


© 2009 by Regents of the University of Colorado. The contents of these digital library curricula were developed under a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education, and National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0338326. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the U.S. Department of Education or National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Supporting Program

Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder

Last Modified: April 16, 2014
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