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Lab: Determining the Density of Unknown Metals

Click on picture to download this lab for free.

Here is a brand new FREEBIE for you!

I have a friend who is a newly starting science teacher in our local middle school.  She has many years of teaching experience, but is new to the wonderful world of science.  Due to all sorts of factors beyond her control, she has been teaching a science class this year.  The textbook being used is neither life science nor physical science, but a spiraling mix of both.

Most of you know me as a biology teacher, but in my 28 years of high school teaching, I have taught chemistry classes for at least 15 of those years.  This week end my friend needed help, so together we came up with this idea for a simple lab that she could do.

I have added this lab to my store on, but it is FREE for the taking.  I hope that it will benefit many of you.  Just click the link below to download.

Lab: Determining the Density of Unknown Metals

The materials list for this lab is simple:  a balance, a graduated cylinder, and different pieces of metal.  You can use any metals that you might have available.  Most middle and high school labs will have pieces of aluminum, copper, magnesium, lead, and zinc.  This lab will work with whatever you have available.

The idea is very simple.  Students will determine the mass and volume of the metal strips, and use this data to calculate the density.  The student does not know the identity of the metal.  From a list of densities provided, the student will determine the identity of each metal.  We added 12 analysis  and follow up questions that are thought provoking and require some critical thinking skills.  And since standardized testing is almost upon us, we added a graphing exercise (involving density) to reinforce the graphing skills that were taught earlier.  Here is a quick look at a few of the pages.  An answer key is provided with the download.

Enjoy this new freebie and Happy Teaching!

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