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Item AM036003: Water spilled on the floor will eventually disappear because the water molecules become a gas and are now part of the air.

You spill a little water on a tile floor but don’t have time to wipe it up. A few hours later, most of the water is gone. What happened to the water?

  1. The water molecules were destroyed.
  2. The water molecules got smaller and now take up less space.
  3. The water molecules became a gas and are now part of the air.
  4. The water molecules broke down into hydrogen and oxygen atoms, which are now in the air.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item AM036003
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 1390 2893 48%
  6–8 846 1856 46%
  9–12 542 1029 53%
Primary Language

View data table

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.C Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.
An atomic-molecular understanding of evaporation is reasonable to expect at the middle and high school levels.