Law of Conservation of Matter Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 What's the ~'Matter~'?
  • 0:46 Following the Law
  • 1:36 Real-Life Examples
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

In this lesson you will learn about a significant scientific rule: the Law of Conservation of Matter. It is an important law that not only applies to your everyday life, but also to major science experiments.

What's the 'Matter?'

Before you can jump into the Law of Conservation of Matter, you need to understand what matter is. Take a quick look around you. Chances are, you are sitting or standing on matter, breathing matter, and touching matter of all different kinds! Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. In this case, the word mass means weight. Your chair is made of matter, the water is matter, you are made of matter! Matter is really all around us. Almost anything that you can think of is matter, but some things that are not matter are heat, light, and your ideas. Why not? They do not take up space or have mass.

Following the Law

In science, there are laws, or rules, that describe matter and what it can and cannot do. Laws have to be proven by doing many different experiments that show they are true and accurate. The Law of Conservation of Matter is an important rule that was discovered and described by scientists in the 1700s. Some say that a Russian scientist named Mikhail Lomonosov first explained it, and others argue that Antoine Lavoisier was the first to describe the idea.

The basic idea of the law is that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Mass can change shape or be arranged differently, but the total amount of matter stays the same. Even if something's burned or frozen, the matter is conserved - it keeps the same mass.

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