In this activity, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives. Parent isotopes are represented by the M side up radioactive. Daughter isotopes are represented by the M side down stable. They then set aside stable isotopes During each trial, students record the latina dating apps of radioactive parent isotopes and record this in a data table.
Once all groups finish, each group records their info on the class decay table on the board and we calculate the averages of the class. Once this info is calculated, students create a graph comparing the class average of parent isotopes to the number of half-lives. Classroom Activity Grade Level: Material on this page is offered under a Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted below.
Paul, MN, based on an original activity retrieved from http: Paul Junior High School. Summary In this activity, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives. Students will be able to explain what a half-life of a rock is. Students will have a more in-depth understanding of what radioactive decay is. Students will understand how scientists use half-lives to date the age of rocks. This activity can be adapted for older students, but is used in an 8th grade earth science classroom.
Class size can vary, but activity should be done in groups of Students should have the skill to set up a data table and a graph, however, if you want to use this activity with students that have not, you can provide them a template with that information.
As far as mastery of content, this activity is done in our rocks and minerals unit. Students should have some prior knowledge of rocks and how they are dated. This activity would also be easy to adapt when talking about half-lives within a chemistry course. New information needed to be introduced with parent and daughter isotopes. Once students are in their groups, with supplies, and general directions are given, they are on their own for doing their runs.
They will do this 8 times. Once they are finished with their 8 runs, they will record their data on the class data table which can be on the board. Once all groups data is on the table, you can calculate the average for each run and determine a class average. Students should recognize each time the number should go down by appx half.
Then students take the class data and create a graph comparing the number of parent isotopes to the number of half-lives. Once this is done, students have some post questions they are radioactive dating lab that they should record in their science notebook.
The first post question caused some confusion: Why didn't each group get the same results? A lot of the students said because they shook the containers differently This was a new activity we implemented last tear. Radioactive decay and half-lives can be a very difficult concept for our 8th graders to grasp.
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With the Half-Life Laboratory, students gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives. Students are able to visualize and model what is meant by the half-life of a reaction. By extension, this experiment is a useful analogy to radioactive decay and carbon dating. This experiment is best used by student working in pairs. Objectives Students try to model radioactive decay by using the scientific thought process of creating a hypothesis, then testing it through inference.
It is a great introduction to the scientific process of deducing, forming scientific theories, and communicating with peers. It is also useful in the mathematics classroom by the process of graphing the data. Seeing this connection will help students to understand how scientists can determine the age of a sample by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the sample. Background Half-Life If two nuclei have different masses, but the same atomic number, those nuclei are considered to be isotopes.
Isotopes have the same chemical properties, but different physical properties. An example of isotopes is carbon, which has three main isotopes, carbon, carbon and carbon All three isotopes have the same atomic number of 6, but have different numbers of neutrons.
Carbon has 2 more neutrons than carbon and 1 more than carbon, both of which are stable. Carbon is radioactive and undergoes radioactive decay. Radioactive materials contain some nuclei that are stable and other nuclei that are unstable. Not all of the atoms of a radioactive isotope radioisotope decay at the same time. Rather, the atoms decay at a rate that is characteristic to the isotope.
The rate of decay is a fixed rate called a half-life. The half-life of a radioactive isotope refers to the amount of time required for half of a quantity of a radioactive isotope to decay.
Carbon has a half-life of years, which means that if you take one gram of carbon, half of it will decay in years.
Different isotopes have different half-lives. The ratio of the amounts of carbon to carbon in a human is the same as in every other living thing. After death, the carbon decays and is not replaced. The carbon decays, with its half-life of 5, years, while the amount of carbon remains constant in the sample.
By looking at the ratio of carbon to carbon in the sample and comparing it to the ratio in a living organism, it is possible to determine the age of a formerly living thing.
Radiocarbon dates do not tell archaeologists exactly how old an artifact is, but they can date the sample within a few hundred years of the age. You might suggest that the students experiment with their graphing results to see if trends begin to form. Flows, Cycles, and Conservation Objectives Students try to model radioactive decay by using the scientific thought process of creating a hypothesis, then testing it through inference.
To define the terms half-life and radioactive decay To model the rate of radioactive decay To create line graphs from collected data To compare data To understand how radioactive decay is used to date archaeological artifacts Background Half-Life If two nuclei have different masses, but the same atomic number, those nuclei are considered to be isotopes.
Have the students spill out the candies onto a flat surface. Have the students record the number of candies they returned to the bag under the next Trial. The students should move the candies that are blank on the top to the side — these have now decayed to a stable state.
The students should repeat steps 2 through 5 until all the candies have decayed or until they have completed Trial 7. Set up a place on the board where all students or groups can record their data. The students will record the results for 9 other groups in their data tables and total all the Trials for the candies NGSS Guided Inquiry Explain about radiation and half-lives of isotopes.
Shake the bag and spill out the candies onto a flat surface. Record the number of candies you returned to the bag under the next Trial. Move the candies that are blank on the top to the side — these have now decayed to a stable state. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until all the candies have decayed or until you have completed Trial 7. Record the results for 9 other groups and total all the Trials for the candies.
Do the number of atoms you start with affect the outcome? Did each group get the same results? Did any group still have candies remaining after Trial 7? What happens to the total number of candies with each trial half-life?
Plot the total results on a graph with number of candies on the vertical axis and trial number on the horizontal axis. Is the result a straight or a curved line? What does the line indicate about the nature of decay of radionuclides? How do scientists use radioactive decay to date fossils and artifacts? Assessment Ideas Question the student about how this experiment is similar to Carbon Dating. Enrichment Question The population of the earth is doubling every 40 years.
If the population of the earth is now 7 billion people, how many people will be here when you are 95 years old? Sign up for newsletters.
Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date These temperatures are experimentally determined in the lab by artificially resetting sample. This is an activity that students will use M&Ms to gain a better understanding of radioactive dating and half-lives. VIRTUAL LAB: RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS AND HALF-LIFE - Glencoe.
Waller View Lab Report - Intro to Half-Life Radioactive Dating Game PhET Lab from PHYSICS PHYS at Mountain State. Simulations at http:/idyllicdesign.info Name: _ Period: _ Intro to Half-Life PhET Lab33%(3). VIRTUAL LAB: RADIOACTIVE ELEMENTS AND HALF-LIFE - Glencoe.