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One misconception students in physical science often have is that students assume objects that float in water are lighter then water. They don't understand the concept of density. I don't know if digital media really helps foster this misconception, at least that I can see. One of the ways I have students confront this misconcpetion is by giving them a variety of liquids such as vegetable oil, dawn dish soap, corn syrup, honey. I ask them to make some predictions about which liquids are "lighter" and "heavier" than water. I ask them if varying the amount of the liquids will effect the experiment, then I let them pour the various liquids together and keep track of the mass and end results. It helps them understand that density is determined by mass/volume.
This thread was posted on May 29, 2015 at 10:13 AM ET by Laura Mibeck.
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I like the hands-on approach on taching the concept of density. Perhaps you can use digital media for students to research fields/careers in which density is needed. Students will not only learn how density works (hands-on), but also the practical use density has and why the information is valuable.
The exploration in the lab is critical. But the next day pull up a video of an aircraft carrier plowing through heavy seas, or a whale breaching, and ask students to apply what they know about density to explain what they are seeing. :)
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