Thursday, September 15, 2011

Density Lab

This week we've been focusing on the physical property of density.  The density of an object can be calculated after the mass and the volume of that object has been measured.  Density is a measure of how tightly matter is packed into a given volume.  To calculate density, students need to find the mass of an object (in grams) and divide that by the objects volume (in either mL or cubic centimeters).  For reference, objects with densities over 1.0 g/mL will sink in water, which objects with densities less than 1.0 g/mL will float in water.  Objects with higher densities will have a tendency to sink while objects with lower densities will tend to rise.

Density is one of the key concepts of 8th grade Earth Science.  It is an essential to understanding many of our topics later this year, including, but not limited to:  rocks/minerals, weather systems (high/low pressure, land/sea breezes, etc.), planetary research, and plate tectonics.