Radiometric dating lab worksheet, description
Why do you think there were lots of beads of other colors in the bag besides the ones you were counting? Do the Virtual Age Dating Tutorial onlinefor further reinforcing of half-life concept and how this is applied to dating rocks.
If you have a fair number of math-literate students, consider providing a number of bags "rock samples" with ratios other than precise half-life proportions, and have class create a half-life curve and figure out the age of their particular samples according to where they fit on the curve.
For each bag, count a specific number of "parent isotope" beads of one color and "daughter isotope" beads of another color. Have available the following items: How sure are we about these ages?
Consider using other items to replace the beans and popcorn. This is especially helpful in explaining how isochrones work, and why they are so compelling. In this way, they get practice reading graphs and using them to understand and interpret data. Be sure to display a scaled geological time in your room throughout the year, something you can use repeatedly, helping your students to internalize the relative timing for events occurring in geological history.
If you wanted to date a sample that you estimated to be about 1 million years old, which isotope would you use to date it, Uranium or Thorium ?
Next, label each bag with a numberput it at a separate station around the room, and make a sign that identifies the parent isotope type and color, daughter isotope type and color, and half-life.
For instance, your five bags might be set-up something like: The pre- and post-test quizzes, ready to hand out optional A scaled time-line for the solar system around the classroom, if possible see our Time Machine lesson.
Do you think any real fossils could come from that time? Encourage or even facilitate students to do the online Virtual Age Dating Tutorialusing a high speed internet connection, with the prospect of earning their official "Certificates of Completion as a Virtual Geochronologist".
Have the Radiometric dating lab worksheet rotate in groups from station to station until they have figured out the age of all five fossils. Once you have a set of parent and daughter isotope beads in the bag, fill up the bag with a mixture of all the other colors.
For more great activities on half-life and radiometric dating, see the lesson plan entitled Determining Age of Rocks and Fossils by Frank K. Larry Flammer, April,and successfully tested on classes of Earth Science students.
Instead of using exponents and natural logs, the students can just use a graph of predicted decay rates to determine the number of half-lives the isotope has gone through based on this percentage see graph. It's an experience they'll never forget well, maybe in time 5.
Do you think scientists can use more than one type of isotope to date the same rock or fossil? For instance, in fossil one, the students will take 15 divided by 60 and come up with the percentage.
McKinney on the webpage: Which two were very close in age? The Deep Time activity envelopes one for each team of two, with isotope strips in them The Deep Time handouts: Count "atoms" in simulated rock samples of different "ages".
Consider taking your students on a simulated journey back in time in our Time Machine.