Then students take the class data and create a graph comparing the number of parent isotopes to the number of half-lives.
Once this is done, students have some post questions they are given that they should record in their science notebook.
The mathematics of inferring backwards from measurements to age is not appropriate for most students.
They need only know that such calculations are possible. 79.) In this lesson, students will be asked to simulate radioactive decay by pouring small candies, such as plain M&M's® or Skittles®, from a cup and counting which candies fall with their manufacturer's mark down or up.
Once students are in their groups, with supplies, and general directions are given, they are on their own for doing their runs.Adapted from: For Special Ed and ELL kids, you could give them a template of the data table/graph.The first post question caused some confusion: Why didn't each group get the same results?Students begin by pouring the 100 M&Ms on the table, and set aside the "stable" isotopes (M side down).They then gather the radioactive, or M side up M&Ms, put them back in the container, and then pour them out again. and continue this process until all M&Ms are stable, or M side down.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.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).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). Reagan, PHET) Purpose: Students will use the radioactive decay rate and original-daughter element ratios of Carbon-14 and Uranium-238 to determine the ages of different objects. Students use M&Ms to demonstrate the idea of radioactive decay. Parent isotopes are represented by the M side up (radioactive).