Teacher Notes



Teacher Notes
Publication No. 11904
Measurement ChallengeStudent Laboratory KitMaterials Included In Kit
Plastic blocks, different densities and colors, 30
Additional Materials Required
Balance
Calculator Metric ruler, 0.1 cm markings Teacher Tips
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)^{†}Science & Engineering PracticesDeveloping and using modelsDisciplinary Core IdeasMSETS1.B: Developing Possible SolutionsHSPS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter Crosscutting ConceptsScale, proportion, and quantityPerformance ExpectationsMSETS14. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. Answers to QuestionsReading the Metric Ruler
The smallest markings on the ruler are 0.1 cm.
A ruler with markings every 0.1 cm provides measurements to the nearest 0.01 cm.
Measurement ranges are given below. Answers may vary because of the limitiations of the ruler and of the human eye. The last digit is underlined because this the the estimated digit and may vary.
Measurement ranges are given below. Answers may vary because of the limitiations of the ruler and of the human eye. The last digit is underlined because this the the estimated digit and may vary.
Measurement ranges are given. Answers may vary because of the limitiations of the ruler and of the ReferencesSpecial thanks to Jeff Bracken, chemistry teacher at Westerville North High School, Westerville, OH, for developing this unique and ingenious laboratory activity. Recommended Products


Student Pages


Student PagesMeasurement ChallengeIntroductionTake the measurement challenge! Accurately estimate the length, width and height of a small plastic block and calculate the block’s volume. Then predict the mass of the block—without a balance— by using the block’s known density. Concepts
BackgroundAll measurements involve some degree of error or estimation. The measurements are based on the fact that the human eye can estimate to onetenth of the smallest mark shown on a measuring instrument. Therefore, a ruler with only 1cm increments shown can provide measurements that are estimated to 0.1 cm, while a ruler with 0.1cm increments shown can provide measurements that are estimated to 0.01 cm. In this activity, the first goal is to determine the volume of a plastic block. The volume of any regular solid can be calculated using Equation 1. The length, width, and height must be estimated using a reliable measuring instrument. {11904_Background_Equation_1}
Once the solid’s volume has been calculated, the mass can be predicted using the known density value of the solid. To predict the mass, rearrange the density equation shown in Equation 2 to solve for mass, as shown in Equation 3.
{11904_Background_Equation_2}
{11904_Background_Equation_3}
Success of this laboratory activity depends on the ability to take accurate measurements to make valid estimations and to apply the rules for significant figures in mass and volume (and density) calculations.
Materials
Balance
Calculator Metric ruler, 0.1 cm markings Plastic blocks, 3 Safety PrecautionsAll activities in this lab are considered nonhazardous. Please follow all laboratory safety guidelines. ProcedurePreLab Activity—Length and Area Reading the Metric Ruler
{11904_Procedure_Table_1}
Applying Significant Figures in Calculations
{11904_Procedure_Figure_1}
Area of Rectangle 1: ___________ Area of Rectangle 2: ___________ Experiment 1—Density Calculation
{11904_Procedure_Table_3}
Experiment 2—The Measurement Challenge
Block Number: ______________ Color of Block: ______________
Length: __________ Width: __________ Height: __________
Volume: __________
{11904_Procedure_Table_4}
Predicted Mass of Block: __________
Actual Mass Measurement: ____________ Teacher Initials: _________ (To be filled in by the teacher)
{11904_Procedure_Equation_1}
Experiment 3—The Measurement Challenge (A More OpenEnded Version)
Block Number: ______________ Color of Block: ______________
{11904_Procedure_Table_4}
Necessary Calculations: (Show all work) Predicted Mass of Block: ______________
Actual Mass Measurement: ____________ Teacher Initials: _________ (To be filled in by the teacher)
{11904_Procedure_Equation_1}
