How carbon dating works for kids
By measuring how much carbon is left in a sample as well as its radioactivity, we can calculate when the organism died. In this activity, you will work backwards to solve a puzzle, much like scientists work backwards to find the time that an organism died." Procedure Give each student a copy of The Case of the Melting Ice student sheet.You may group them in any size group, but working in pairs is optimal for this exercise.To be able to do this lesson and understand the idea of half-life, students should understand ratios and the multiplication of fractions, and be somewhat comfortable with probability.For the laboratory portion of this lesson, you will have to set up the ring stands, rings, funnels, and graduated cylinders.The Case of the Melting Ice Frosty the Snowman lies melting in the funnels at your lab station.There were no eyewitnesses, but there are several suspects. You need to determine the exact time at which Frosty was put into the funnels to melt away, leaving no trace.Atoms may stick together in well-defined molecules or they could be packed together in large arrays.For students, understanding the general architecture of the atom and the roles played by the main constituents of the atom in determining the properties of materials now becomes relevant.
You can continue to fill the funnels as different classes arrive.
The lab stations should have been set up already as described in the Planning Ahead section above.
Students should complete the Analysis section of the lab sheet, which will be used as part of their assessment.
On a separate sheet of paper, immediately record the volume of Frosty's melted remains (water) in your graduated cylinder and note the time on the clock.
Make a data table and, at regular intervals (you decide how long), record the time on the clock and the volume of water in the graduated cylinder.