Day 6 – Mass Confusion

After raising the question “What the heck is stuff?”, we discussed the idea of mass as a measure of how much ‘stuff’ there is in an object.

We went on to start the first lab. We look at different changes and see if the mass changes, combing class data with histograms. The lab consists of:

  • Tearing Steel Wool
  • Melting Ice
  • Precipitate Formation
  • Heating Steel Wool
  • Alka-Seltzer in Water
  • Dissolving Sugar

It gives us a chance to look at experimental error and insights the discussion around particles changing or staying the same. In the case if tearing wool, student saw a decrease in matter. This didn’t for with the model so students started asking questions. They decided that they must of lost some steel on the table. They then quickly ripped their steel over a weigh boat and found their results improved.

It’s great to see them address theses issues without much prompting!


One thought on “Day 6 – Mass Confusion

  1. We finally wrapped up this lab on Friday. I was very impressed with the students background knowledge of particles, especially about drawing solid particles versus liquid particles. It will make that addition to the particle drawings go that much faster. One thing they had a hard time with was keeping the number of particles the same in the before and after drawings. Even though they would tell me there was no change in mass, the drawings would show something different. Monday we are whiteboarding worksheet 1 so I will truly see their drawings.

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