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published by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering
written by Mary Hebrank
This inquiry-based curricular unit introduces middle school students to the concept of density through five hands-on experiments. In Activity 1, they handle five identical boxes, each filled with a material of differing density, to get a feel for the relationship among mass, volume, and density. Next, they devise methods to figure out the density of solid objects by using water displacement. Finally, they use their knowledge to determine how to calculate density without being given a formula.

Activities come with learning objectives, student guides, teacher content support, and ideas for assessment. All are aligned to national math and science standards.

Teach Engineering is an NSF-funded Pathway developed to provide high-quality experiential learning materials for K-12 classrooms.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Fluid Mechanics
- Statics of Fluids
= Density and Buoyancy
General Physics
- Properties of Matter
Other Sciences
- Engineering
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Best practice
= Curriculum
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Student Guide
= Unit of Instruction
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Safety Warnings
Minimal Danger   No Safety Equipment Necessary  


Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Formats:
text/html
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2004 Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
NSF Number:
0338326
Keywords:
Archimedes Principle, buoyancy, density experiments, experiential learning
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created February 15, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 4, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 24, 2010

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
  • 6-8: 12B/M3. Calculate the circumferences and areas of rectangles, triangles, and circles, and the volumes of rectangular solids.
  • 9-12: 12B/H3. Make up and write out simple algorithms for solving real-world problems that take several steps.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
M. Hebrank, (Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2004), WWW Document, (https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Hebrank, Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers, (Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2004), <https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit>.
APA Format
Hebrank, M. (2010, June 24). Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers. Retrieved August 10, 2020, from Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering: https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit
Chicago Format
Hebrank, Mary. Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, June 24, 2010. https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit (accessed 10 August 2020).
MLA Format
Hebrank, Mary. Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, 2004. 24 June 2010. 10 Aug. 2020 <https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Mary Hebrank", Title = {Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers}, Publisher = {Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {10 August 2020}, Month = {June 24, 2010}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A Mary Hebrank
%T Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers
%D June 24, 2010
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%C Boulder
%U https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Hebrank, Mary
%D June 24, 2010
%T Teach Engineering: Floaters and Sinkers
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%V 2020
%N 10 August 2020
%8 June 24, 2010
%9 text/html
%U https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/duk_density_mary_unit


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