Radioactive dating lesson activity
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 begin by pouring the 100 M&Ms on the table, and set aside the "stable" isotopes (M side down).They then gather the radioactive, or M side up M&Ms, put them back in the container, and then pour them out again. and continue this process until all M&Ms are stable, or M side down.
The first post question caused some confusion: Why didn't each group get the same results?Once this info is calculated, students create a graph comparing the class average of parent isotopes to the number of 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. Students then should be able to see the connection of the M&Ms and radioactive elements in rocks, and how scientists can determine the age of rocks by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the rock.Skills: -critical thinking -data analysis -questioning -graphing and data collecting Vocab Words: 1. This activity can be adapted for older students, but is used in an 8th grade earth science classroom.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 given that they should record in their science notebook.