Standard, Objective and Indicators Covered:
- Standard1 - Students will understand the structure of matter.
- Objective 2 - Accurately measure the characteristics of
matter in different states.
- Indicator a - Use appropriate instruments to determine
mass and volume of solids and liquids and record data.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
- 1A - Observe objects and events for patterns and record both
qualatative and quantitative information.
- 1B - Sort and sequence data according to given criteria.
- 1D - Select the appropriate instrument; measure, calculate
and record in metric units, length, volume, temperature, weight, to
the accuracy of instruments used.
- 2B - Raise questions about objects, events and processes that
can be answered through scientific investigation.
- One 45-50 minute class period is usually sufficient.
- Students will learn three ways to find the volume of an object - direct
measurement with the rulers, indirect measurement with the graduated
cylinders, and the water displacement method.
- They will calculate the percentage of air in sand using their volume
- They will see how the smaller graduations on a measuring device increase
(per group of 2-4 students)
- 1 small rock
- 1 marble
- 1 rectangular wood block (about 3 by 4 by 5 cm, it's nice if they
are about the same volume as the baby food jar)
- 1 baby food jar or any small container
- 2 graduated cylinders - 100 mL
- 1 metric ruler
- 40 mL sand
- 1-50 mL beaker
- 1-250 mL beaker
- bucket for wet sand - for class disposal
Student Background Information:
- Volume is the amount of space something takes up.
- It can be measured three ways.
- If an object is rectangular, the length, width and height can
be measured directly with a metric ruler. The three numbers multiplied
together are the volume in cubic centimeters.
- For irregularly shaped solids, water displacement can be used.
The volume of a certain amount of water in a graduated cylinder
or other measuring device is first measured. The object is dropped
in. The change in water level is its volume.
- If an overflow jar is available, the jar is filled; a graduated
cylinder placed under the spout, the object dropped in and the overflow
- The volume of containers can be measured indirectly by filling
them with water, then pouring the liquid into a graduated cylinder
or beaker for measurement.
Teacher Background Information: (Do not share with students until
after the lab)
- The smaller the graduations on the measuring device the more accurate
your measurement will be. A milliliter is the same amount of volume
as a cubic centimeter.
- The volume of air in sand can be calculated by adding 40 ml of water
to 40 ml of dry sand. The water will fill the air spaces in the sand
and the top surface will be at about 65 ml. Since it would have been
80 ml without the air, the air must take up 15 ml of the sand. By dividing
15 ml of air by the 40 ml of dry sand, the percentage of air in sand
is found. It is usually about 30%.
If the students can find a way to hurt themselves on this one, they were
going to do it anyway. To ensure safety of your graduated cylinders, make
sure the rocks are too big to fit in them. Have the students tilt the
graduated cylinders on an angle and slide the marbles or rocks down the
side for the water displacement method. This will reduce the amount of
spash produced and reduce the chances of the graduate breaking. Plastic
graduates are always a good idea in the junior high classroom.
Student Page for the Volume Lab