Math = Love: Chalk Messages Mini-Lab

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Chalk Messages Mini-Lab

What do you do when a chunk of your physical science class is away at the state softball tournament, it's Friday, and you just finished a chapter but don't want to start the new chapter until Monday?  You decide to give your students a piece of sidewalk chalk and a measurement lab to keep them busy.  Measurement was the last skill in the previous chapter, so it made sense.  I promise!

Here's what I came up with:
We began by making our predictions of how much chalk it would take to write our first and last names.  When some students were making crazy predictions, a student reminded the class that a paper clip has a mass of approximately 1 gram.  This helped make a bit more accurate of predictions.

Next, we took the triple beam balances outside.  It was a windy day, and we quickly realized this was a BAD idea.

Some students opted to use a triple beam balance in the classroom.

Others chose to move their triple beam balances into the hall to work.

Here are some pictures of my students in action:

If I were to do this again, I'd edit it to have students calculate error before calculating percent error.  Other than that, it turned out to be a good activity to keep students busy on an off-day.