Prior to the pandemic, you likely experienced a hectic weekend shopping trip. Stores become “madhouses” with cars “packed like sardines” in the parking lots and the aisles “bustling” with shopping carts. Although dangerous in the midst of the pandemic, crowded places help us visualize density. Density measures the compactness of an object, or the amount of matter in a given space. Hundreds of people shopping within one mall or store create a dense, crowded environment in the same way that a brick is much denser than a pile of feathers. A pound of bricks and a pound of feathers weigh the same, but the bricks take up much less space than the feathers because bricks are denser; there are more molecules of brick than feathers in a given space. This week, you will learn how to measure density and discover some cool applications and examples of density in our world.
Online Videos: Use these links to educate and entertain!
- Elementary: Density: Why Does Oil Float on Water?
- Middle School: Archimedes and the Golden Crown
- High School: Neutron Stars
Manifest Density: Density is dependent on the mass and volume of matter. This derived function describes an object’s compactness. Although a kilogram of bricks and a kilogram of feathers have the same mass, they take up much different volumes. Bricks are much denser than feathers. In this activity, students will learn how to measure density by calculating mass and volume.
Sink or Float: Garden Edition! There are amazing varieties of food in your garden or pantry. In this activity, students design an experiment, test variables, and come up with conclusions on what sinks and what floats.
Water Acrobatics: Water density depends on temperature and mixing cold and hot water together creates some interesting flipping. With some food coloring you can watch this happen and this demonstration shows just how waters of different temperatures behave when mixed together.
For additional resources, check out our STEM @ Home page!