Bond with James: Density Lab (Acrylic Cylinders): Observe & Record Data!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Density Lab (Acrylic Cylinders): Observe & Record Data!

This virtual lab focuses on observing and recording data from a density experiment. It is recommended that the individual rewind or pause the video to allow time to accurately and precisely record each measurement. When finished, calculate the density for each of the purple (acrylic) cylinders.

If you're a teacher using this in the classroom, you may want to create a Pre-Lab questionnaire. I normally have students create their own data tables. This lab is straightforward and is a great starting point for developing that particular skill. However, in case you're wondering, you could have students create something like this:


The purple cylinders are composed of acrylic. The true value provided with the activity set was given as 1.17 g/mL. If you Google the acrylic density, it is listed as 1.18 g/mL (or 1.18 g/cm^3).

I forgot to mention this in the video. Depending on your grade level and population of students, you should direct students to take the average of the values and use that to compare to the true value of acrylic. When creating a Mass vs. Volume graph, instruct students to draw a line of best fit. The graph will be a straight line. Of course, obtaining accurate and precise data from the video will be affected by various factors (e.g., human error 😂🤣). However, I recorded data and calculated the density by watching the video, and my measurements were fine. Moreover, you could use the video as an opportunity to discuss recording accurate and precise measurements (i.e., significant figures/digits).

I hope this helps you and your students while we navigate distance learning during this COVID-19 era.

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