Monday, September 10, 2012

Low Tech Activity Yet Worthwhile Results!

Although I love using the latest technology or some computer app, sometimes the simplest things give students the best understanding.  When discussing the many benefits of knowing the density (D) of a substance, I focused on how you can determine the mass (m) of object if it is too big to put on a scale if you know the density.  The solution is to simply multiply it by the volume (V).

D = m/V  or rearranged is m = D*V

Rather giving examples from the book or a worksheet as I normally would, today I took the students outside and asked them to estimate the mass of some concrete slabs that make up sitting benches outside our building.  As an added bonus they got practice taking measurements and it led into another discussion about significant figures.  The students were able to see real-world applications since you can use this to estimate masses of sorts of objects, even buildings.  I thought about having some students determine the mass of the school by counting all the bricks if they get bored in class.  Good lesson and we got outside on a nice day...

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