Radioactivity and radioactive dating
As far as mastery of content, this activity is done in our rocks and minerals unit.Students should have some prior knowledge of rocks and how they are dated. Materials Needed: -100 M&Ms (per group) -Notebook -Piece of Paper -Plastic Container with a Lid Lesson should be introduced by reviewing the 2 broad ways scientists age rocks (relative dating and radioactive dating).This activity would also be easy to adapt when talking about half-lives within a chemistry course. Also, review what a half-life is (info given the day prior during lecture/ notes/ reading).
A material containing such unstable nuclei is considered radioactive.Daughter isotopes are represented by the M side down (stable).Students begin by pouring the 100 M&Ms on the table, and set aside the "stable" isotopes (M side down).Once this is done, students have some post questions they are given that they should record in their science notebook.Adapted from: For Special Ed and ELL kids, you could give them a template of the data table/graph.
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They will only re shake the radioactive M&Ms each time. Once they are finished with their 8 runs, they will record their data on the class data table (which can be on the board).