Student Exploration: Density Laboratory
Vocabulary: buoyancy, density, graduated cylinder, mass, matter, scale, volume
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
1. Of the objects below, circle the ones you think would float in water.
2. Why do some objects float, while others sink? ____________________________________
The Density Laboratory Gizmo™ allows you to measure a variety of
objects, then drop them in water (or other liquid) to see if they sink or float.
1. An object’s mass is the amount of matter it contains. The mass of an
object can be measured with a calibrated scale like the one shown in
the Gizmo. Drag the first object onto the Scale. (This is object 1.)
What is the mass of object 1? _______________________________
2. An object’s volume is the amount of space it takes up. The volume of
an irregular object can be measured by how much water it displaces in
a graduated cylinder. Place object 1 into the Graduated Cylinder.
What is the volume of object 1? _____________________________
Note: While milliliters (mL) are used to measure liquid volumes, the equivalent unit cubic
centimeters (cm3) are used for solids. Therefore, write the volume of object 1 in cm3.
3. Drag object 1 into the Beaker of Liquid. Does it sink or float? ________________________
Float or sink?
Get the Gizmo ready:
• Drag object 1 back to the shelf.
• Check that Liquid Density is set to 1.0 g/mL.
Question: How can you predict whether an object will float or sink?
1. Observe: Experiment with the different objects in the Gizmo. Try to determine what the
floating objects have in common and what the sinking objects have in common.
2. Form hypothesis: Comp