Teacher Notes



Teacher Notes
Publication No. 12000
Earth Science DensityClassroom KitMaterials Included In Kit
Aluminum bars, 15
Aluminum cubes, 30 Glass spheres (sphere 1), 14 mm, 15 Glass spheres (sphere 2), 19 mm, 15 Plastic ruler, metric, 15 Additional Materials Required
Balance, 0.1g precision
Graduated cylinder, plastic, 50 or 100mL Mineral or rock samples, various types, 3 Water Teacher Tips
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)^{†}Science & Engineering PracticesPlanning and carrying out investigationsAnalyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics and computational thinking Constructing explanations and designing solutions Disciplinary Core IdeasMSPS1.A: Structure and Properties of MatterHSPS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter Crosscutting ConceptsPatternsScale, proportion, and quantity Sample Data{12000_Data_Table_1}
{12000_Data_Table_2}
{12000_Data_Table_3}
Answers to QuestionsPart 1. Density of Bar and Two Cubes
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Student Pages


Student PagesEarth Science DensityIntroductionHow is density measured? What factors are involved in finding the density of objects of different sizes, shapes and composition? Several experiments will be performed in this activity to answer these questions. Concepts
BackgroundIn this activity, the mass, volume, and density of several objects will be determined and compared by two methods: direct measurement and water displacement. In Part 1, the volume of two cubes and a bar will be calculated using Equation 1. The length, width, and height will be measured using a metric ruler. {12000_Background_Equation_1}
The mass of the three objects will be found using a balance and the density of each object will then be calculated using Equation 2.
{12000_Background_Equation_2}
Density, which is defined as an object’s mass divided by its volume, is a characteristic property of a material. Solids that have the same physical appearance or objects of different shapes and sizes may be identified by their densities. The density of a solid is commonly expressed as g/cm^{3}. In Part 2 of this experiment, the volume two spheres of different sizes will be determined by water displacement. Using Equation 3, the volume of each sphere may be calculated. {12000_Background_Equation_3}
{12000_Background_Figure_1}
The mass and volume of the spheres will then be used to determine the density and identity of each sphere. In Part 3 of this activity, the density of unknown rock samples will be found using the water displacement procedure from Part 2. Materials
Balance, accurate to 0.1 g
Bar Cube 1 Cube 2 Graduated cylinder, plastic, 50 or 100mL Mineral samples Plastic ruler, metric Sphere 1, 14 mm Sphere 2, 19 mm Water Safety PrecautionsAlthough this activity is considered nonhazardous, always follow proper laboratory safety procedures. ProcedurePart 1. Density of a Bar and Two Cubes
Student Worksheet PDF 