Carbon dating elementary

Adapted from: For Special Ed and ELL kids, you could give them a template of the data table/graph.

The first post question caused some confusion: Why didn't each group get the same results?

During each trial, students record the number 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. Isotope Concepts: Students should begin to see the pattern that each time they dump out their M&Ms, about half become stable.

They will only re shake the radioactive M&Ms each time. Once they are finished with their 8 runs, they will record their data on the class data table (which can be on the board).

The radioactive decay of carbon-14 may be invaluable for dating biological artefacts, but no one has ever been sure why it is so slow.

Now, researchers in the US and Canada think it is because mesons — elementary particles that contribute indirectly to the decay — change their properties as they pass through a carbon-14 nucleus.

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.

Students should have some prior knowledge of rocks and how they are dated. Materials Needed: -100 M&Ms (per group) -Notebook -Piece of Paper -Plastic Container with a Lid Lesson should be introduced by reviewing the 2 broad ways scientists age rocks (relative dating and radioactive dating).

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