Density– What does it matter? 5

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Elaine Tong and Kenny Tran

How dense could you be not to know the definition of density?

Measured in grams per centimeters cubed, grams per milliliter or kilograms per meters cubed, density is the mass of matter per unit volume.

Eighth-grade physical science students learn about density, and every year, they do a density stack project. This project requires four liquids that must stack and not blend with each other. Liquids are stacked if there is a clear line between each. But if the liquids don’t separate, it is complicated to fix. Once the different liquids blend, the young scientists will need to start from the beginning again.  

The purpose of this project is to teach the students that liquids can stack instead of mixing, due to how dense they are.

There are a large variety of liquids available to use for the project, minus some exceptions. Some forbidden materials include alcohol, bleach, gasoline, hydrogen peroxide, flammable liquids and more. These liquids are forbidden because some create the possibility of endangering someone when mixed with certain other liquids.

Once the liquids have stacked, the next step should be to find four solids and make them float, suspend, or sink in the liquids. It can be any item, from rocks to a piece of a chopstick, as long as it fits inside the container.

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Also, don’t forget to label your bottles with the ingredients you used, eighth-graders because that matters.

This activity is an enjoyable and educational science project that is sure to be fun for all ages. It will teach students the different levels of density, and how to display it a simple plastic bottle. If you wish to do this yourself, you can gather household supplies to create your density stack! All you need is a container and as many liquids with varying densities as you want!

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