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Equipment that is necessary is M&Ms– a lot because each group needs to begin with 100, and a container with a cover for each group.Students should have the skill to set up a data table and a graph, however, if you want to use this activity with students that have not, you can provide them a template with that information.Learning Goals: Students will be able to: Identify isotopes that are commonly used to determine how old matter might be.
A lot of the students said because they shook the containers differently... I also have students wash their hands before the activity, because of course after, the students eat the M&Ms. Radioactive decay and half-lives can be a very difficult concept for our 8th graders to grasp.
Skills: -critical thinking -data analysis -questioning -graphing and data collecting Vocab Words: 1. This activity can be adapted for older students, but is used in an 8th grade earth science classroom.
Class size can vary, but activity should be done in groups of 2-3.
Once students are in their groups, with supplies, and general directions are given, they are on their own for doing their runs.
Students will record the number of M&Ms that are still "radioactive" (M side up) in their data table after each run, and set aside the "stable" (M side down) M&Ms.