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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 55 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments

Regional Focus


Why Does Ice Float in Water?

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  • This brief video describes the unique properties of water molecules and the reason for a less dense solid structure (ice), as compared to the liquid form.
  • Students will learn about hydrogen bonds, how temperature and kinetic energy affect those hydrogen bonds in water molecules, and the importance of water and floating ice to all life on Earth.
Teaching Tips


  • This video provides nice animations showing how water molecules move at different temperatures and how they bond with other water molecules.
  • It also does a good job of connecting the importance of less-dense ice for living systems.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with some basic chemistry concepts including atomic structure, polarity, and bonding.


  • This is a great resource to tie into lessons on the water cycle and the amplification of the water cycle due to increases in global temperatures.
  • It could also be a great segway into how the reduced albedo effect from melting ice caps and glaciers is accelerating climate change, particularly in polar regions.
Scientist Notes

Resource provides deep insights on the importance of water in liquid and solid state. The resource underscores ice formation, reaction, processes in change of state, and a chemical composition that is different from other variable gases. Students can explore this resource as there is no contradiction in the content. Recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • MS-PS1-4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
    • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
      • MS-PS2-3 Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
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