Science
Strand IV
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand IV
Content Standard 1
All students will measure and describe the things around us; explain what the world around us is made of; identify and describe forms of energy; and explain how electricity and magnetism interact with matter (Matter and Energy)

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1
Middle School

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School
Benchmark 1
Describe and compare objects in terms of mass, volume, and density.

Benchmark Clarification

Scientists describe and compare objects by measuring some of their characteristics using standardized units. Some of these physical characteristics are volume, mass and density.

The volume of a solid can be measured by using water displacement or mathematical formulas; the volume of a liquid can be measured by using a graduated cylinder.

The mass of a solid or a liquid can be measured using a balance. Students should remember to subtract the mass of the container when they measure the mass of a liquid.

Density can be calculated by dividing mass by volume, or D = M/V.

Students will:

  • Measure the following physical properties of matter: volume, mass, and density
  • Identify differences in the densities of objects that have the same volume (For example, a brick versus a piece of wood of the same size — the brick is more dense because it has more matter [stuff] in the same amount of space)

See Making measurements (SCI.I.1.MS.4).

See Standardized units (SCI.IV.1.MS.2).

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Key Concept
Units of density — grams per cubic centimeter or grams per milliliter

Measurement tools:

  • balance
  • measuring cup or graduated cylinder
  • metric ruler

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Real World Context
Common objects and substances

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How are physical properties used to describe and compare matter?

Focus Question: How can objects be described and compared in terms of mass, volume, and density?

The teacher will set out several different liquids, solids, containers of various sizes, and measuring devices (balance, graduated cylinders, and metric rulers).

Students will work in small groups to create tables for recording mass, volume, and density. They will measure the mass, volume, and density of several items. After they have completed their investigations, the small groups should discuss and compare values for liquids and solids. Students also will discuss the differences in individual measurements within the class and focus on limitations of their personal knowledge.

(Extension: Students will research a scientist and give a presentation describing how he or she utilized mass, volume, and/ or density in the work he or she conducted. See “Culturally Relevant Materials for Science Education.”

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1), (SCI.I.1.MS.3), (SCI.I.1.MS.4), (SCI.I.1.MS.5).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.MS.1), (SCI.II.1.MS.2), (SCI.II.1.MS.3).

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Assessment Example

The teacher will pass out the appropriate measuring tools and the following items to each group: a piece of Styrofoam, oil, toothpick, water, molasses, and marble. Students will calculate the density of these objects. Students will pour equal amounts of the liquids into a clear container in order from most dense to least dense. Then they will drop in the solids from most dense to least dense*.

Students should then draw and label a picture of these items when combined in one container and justify their answers using density calculations.

Finally, students should hypothesize based on the following: If air is added to the bottom layer of the container through a straw, what will happen to the air?

*Most dense to least dense is as follows: marble, molasses, water, oil, toothpick, styrofoam.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Accuracy of layers

Illustrates and labels layers in incorrect order.

Illustrates and labels some layers in correct order.

Illustrates and labels all layers in correct order.

Illustrates and labels all layers in correct order with neatness and accuracy that exceeds expectations.

Correctness of explanation

Utilizes density calculations to explain drawing but fewer than two calculations are correct.

Utilizes density calculations to explain drawing but only two to three calculations are correct.

Utilizes correct density calculations to explain drawing.

Utilizes correct density calculations to explain drawing and shows all work.

Correctness of hypothesis

Writes an incorrect hypothesis.

Writes a hypothesis with some inconsistencies.

Writes a complete and correct hypothesis.

Writes a complete and correct hypothesis based on past experimentation.

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 1
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.IV.1.MS.1.html

Floaters and Sinkers. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

Graham, Ian. Boats, Ships, Submarines & Other Floating Machines. Kingfisher, 1994.

Math + Science a Solution. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

“Culturally Relevant Materials for Science Education.” MEGOSE. (MDE), 1991.