This folder includes these documents.
1 This document: contents and information for the teacher
2 FOR THE TEACHER: Density lab; This is your document for preparation and information. The preparation will take less than an hour.
3 EXERCISE Student data sheet with questions
4 ANSWERS Students data sheet with questions
5 ENRICHMENTAL SUPPLEMENTAL aluminum rolls
6 ANSWERS ENRICHMENT SUPPLEMENTAL aluminum rolls
7 The short video that was used as a preview. This is a higher quality version! It can be shown to the students.
8 Thumbnails. There are four. They can be used as warmups.
Information for the teacher
The prep is to find some aluminum cans, cut the ends off and cut them into rectangles. You will need some balances. The old fashion triple beam balances are fine.
This is documented in the “FOR THE TEACHER…” document.
For further study
There are many variations on this lab. Small objects can be placed in a graduated cylinder and the volume can be revealed from the displacement. Measure the density of different types of wood and determine if the density is different. The density of liquids is a measure of salinity and other things. The density of liquids is determined with a hydrometer. It is a little floaty thing that floats high in a higher density liquid. They can be found in a good kitchen store, or a home brew shop. (they are used to measure the sugar content of the wort). This is a great lab and having the students do the lab year after year is probably great.
They say that students never see numbers. This lab makes for lots and lots of calculated, experimental numbers. Let the students see all the results! Put a table on the white board and let the students enter their value as they complete them. The numbers are not the same and that is fine. This is an important learning objective. The number are not the same and there is a spread of values.
What are the significant figures? The calculators will give a ridiculous number of digits. The calculator might have, 0.0102456. What does this mean? What is the real answer? Instead of making rules, ask the kids to look at the data, all of the data and make a judgement. If you can get the kids to make this jump then you deserve a star! This goes right to the heart of math literacy. Grams per cubic centimeter is exactly the same as miles per gallon. It is exactly the same as dollars per pound. Exactly the same!!