Once all groups data is on the table, you can calculate the average for each run (1-8) and determine a class average.Students should recognize each time the number should go down by appx half.During each trial, students record the number of radioactive parent isotopes and record this in a data table.Once all groups finish, each group records their info on the class decay table (on the board) and we calculate the averages of the class. Isotope Concepts: Students should begin to see the pattern that each time they dump out their M&Ms, about half become stable.New information needed to be introduced with parent and daughter isotopes.Once students are in their groups, with supplies, and general directions are given, they are on their own for doing their runs.They point to a catastrophic origin for granites, consistent with the biblical timeframe for earth history and God’s judgment during the Flood.
As far as mastery of content, this activity is done in our rocks and minerals unit.I tell the students that they will now become archaeologists as they play with the Ph ET simulation "Radioactive Dating Game".I ask the students to divide themselves into partners, and request that one partner to get a computer, while the second partner gets the record sheet they will use.Once this info is calculated, students create a graph comparing the class average of parent isotopes to the number of half-lives. Students will be able to explain what a half-life of a rock is. Students will have a more in-depth understanding of what radioactive decay is. Students will understand how scientists use half-lives to date the age of rocks. Students then should be able to see the connection of the M&Ms and radioactive elements in rocks, and how scientists can determine the age of rocks by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the rock.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.