Date of Award/Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

MS in Special Education



First Supervisor

Susan Schultz


Students at the secondary level have a difficult time balancing equations and comprehending the law of conservation of matter. The law of conservation of matter is a fundamental concept in the chemistry curriculum and is necessary for students to understand more advanced topics. The purpose of this study is to justify the use of manipulatives in the science classroom and to show the increased ability, knowledge, engagement level, and impact of students it has.
In this small-scale study the use of simple manipulatives are used to model the law of conservation of matter when balancing equations. The students use manipulatives to build representations of balanced equations in order to understand the concept. Since atoms cannot be seen, they must be represented by models to facilitate student understanding.

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