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middle school

Structure and Properties of Matter


Strange Matter Screenshot

Strange Matter

Strange Matter is an interactive introduction to material science students can explore matter by Zooming into Stuff, Transforming Stuff, Crushing Stuff, and Improving Stuff. A clever and fun tool from the Ontario Science Center! Flash is required.

Resource screenshot

Reversible and Irreversible Changes

The name of this tool is called Reversible and Irreversible Changes. Use the blue arrows in the upper right-hand​ corner to go through the simulation. This tool has been developed by the and their Science Clips program. These are very clear, concise, and effective lessons for young students. Flash is required.

On Fire screenshot

On Fire

On Fire is a “learning tool” by NOVA. This tool lets students explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, how a molecule’s atoms rearrange themselves during combustion, and what a flame is made of. Flash is required.

Heat Makes the Difference screenshot

Heat Makes the Difference

This is an awesome interactive tool by Harcourt School Publishers! It discusses the changes in states of matter with variations in temperature. Flash is required.

Build an Atom screenshot

Build an Atom

Through PhET, you can build an atom out of protons, neutrons, and electrons! Explore how the element, charge, and mass change. Play a game to test the skills that you have learned. This fun, interactive tool works on all devices.

States of Matter: Basics screenshot

States of Matter: Basics

States of Matter: Basics is a great simulation from the amazing people at PhET. Click on the link to see an interactive that will run on any device. The “For Teachers” section has documents that other teachers have shared for you to use with your students. Great sim and site. This runs on all devices. It is HTML5.

Scale of the universe screenshot

The Scale of the Universe 2

This is a fun tool to see objects with a different perspective. Look at a DNA strand compared to a blue whale! This wonderful tool was created by Cary and Mike Huang. More of their really fun and sophisticated work can be found at Flash is required.

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Why do objects like wood float in water? Does it depend on size? Create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density! This interactive tool by PhET works on Mac & PC.

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WebElements Periodic Table of the Elements

Billed as the first periodic table on the World Wide Web, this “learning tool” is called WebElements. has selected the WebElements web site as a winner of the 2002 Sci/Tech Web Awards. It is constantly being updated with awesome information about 118 elements!

Scale of the universe screenshot

Atoms: Protons, Neutrons, Electrons

On this resource, students can watch an animated video on the structure of atoms, focusing on protons, electrons and neutrons, or take a quiz on the same material. Headphones are required for the video portion.

NGSS logo


  • Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with each other in various ways. (MS-PS-1)
  • Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties that can be used to identify it. (MS-PS1-3)
  • In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide. In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position, but do not change relative locations. (MS-PS-4)
  • The changes in the states of matter occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models. (MS-PS1-4)

About NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.”


Our team from Temple University has developed this resource for all K-12 students and teachers of science. These vetted learning tools align to the NGSS. Find one we should include? Just fill out the form.

Temple University College of Science and Technology logo
Next Generation Science Standards NGSS logo



Many of these science resources require Java and Flash. Click below to download.

Temple University College of Science and Technology logo
Temple University College of Science and Technology logo