A Mole of Gas

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In this two-part activity, learners use everyday materials to visualize one mole of gas or 22.4 liters of gas. The first activity involves sublimating dry ice in large garbage bag. The second activity uses plastic bottles.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A large garbage bag
  • Dry ice
  • Massing scale
  • Cup of hot water (optional)
  • 11 2-liter bottles
  • 1 slightly smashed .5-liter bottle (to make approximately .4 liters)


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • Chemistry
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Muller, Eric


  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium, 2005