The eighth graders worked on developing a better understanding of matter and learning how physical properties can be used to identify minerals. Several labs focused on measurement activities. Students measured the density of clay of different shapes and sizes to discover that these changes have no effect on the density of a substance. They studied the periodic table and made models of atoms to learn about atomic structure and what makes certain atoms ions and others isotopes.
At the end of the matter unit, several students volunteered to take the plunge in the “school pool”, a large barrel of water, to use displacement and mass to determine their density. As October became November the kids began a unit on minerals. They will be identifying minerals by observing and measuring the physical properties of mineral specimens.