Rock Abrasion Lab for Earth Science (weathering)

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Four page lab where students examine the effects of weather on different rock samples. Below are the procedures - also check out the "PREVIEW" to see the whole lab.


1. For the rock type you will be using, weight out approximately 100 grams (somewhere between 95 g and 105 g is adequate) of presoaked rock chips that you have dried with a paper towel. Record this value, along with the ROCK TYPE to the nearest 0.1 g in the DATA TABLE under MASS AT START.

2. Place the chips in a plastic container. Add 200 ml of water.

3. Tightly cap the container. Shake for 4 minutes at a steady tempo.

4. Placing a screen over the opening, pour out the water. DO NOT ALLOW ROCK CHIPS TO FALL IN THE SINK AREA AND CLOG THE DRAIN!! Remove rock chips and dry with a paper towel. Be sure to weigh ALL the rock chips. Record this new mass to the nearest 0.1 g in the 4 Min. column of the DATA TABLE

5. Return the chips to the container and repeat the process 2 more times (shaking for 4 minutes, drying, reweighing, and recording data) until all the chips have been shaken a total of 8 and 12 minutes. Set aside 2 to 4 of the shaken chips for later comparison with the unshaken chips you set aside earlier.

6. Repeat steps 1 - 5 for another rock type as directed by your teacher.

7. With a different colored pencil for each rock type, plot the data from the DATA TABLE to complete a line graph of MASS VS. SHAKING TIME for each different rock type. Be sure to label each line with the rock type its represents.
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Teaching Duration
55 Minutes

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Rock Abrasion Lab for Earth Science (weathering)
Rock Abrasion Lab for Earth Science (weathering)
Rock Abrasion Lab for Earth Science (weathering)
Rock Abrasion Lab for Earth Science (weathering)