Invented in the 1940s by Willard Libby, carbon dating is a process by which archaelogists measure the carbon-14 content in a fossil to determine its approximate age. People and animals acquire carbon-14 by eating plants and animals. Once an organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 in the organism begins to decay.
Turn your Algebra 2 or Pre-Calculus into a Archaelogical Research Lab. Students will use exponential and logarithmic functions to determine dates of ancient fossils.
In this 14 page document you will be given a mapping to the Content Standards, an outline for how to implement the project, handout resources for students to use, and an answer key. In all it is three different assignments --
-- In “Half Life” students will use lab observations to calculate the half-life of 5 mysterious elements. They’ll use this measurement to determine what the mystery element was.
-- In “Carbon Dating” students will determine whether five artifacts are possibly authentic or fakes. Using the half-life of carbon-14, students will use the half-life formula to calculate the approximate age of the artifacts and compare the dates to the dates of the ancient civilizations.
-- In “Archaeological Dig” students be given information about 7 authentic artifacts and must calculate the ages of the samples using carbon-14 dating and will be asked to summarize their findings based on their research.
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