Explain radio carbon dating kids

For the laboratory portion of this lesson, you will have to set up the ring stands, rings, funnels, and graduated cylinders.Fill the funnels with ice before the students arrive in the classroom.Carbon-14 is produced constantly as our atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays.It is incorporated into the carbon cycle, so that all living things, including you, contain radioactive carbon-14.This lesson is the third in a three-part series about the nucleus, isotopes, and radioactive decay.The first lesson, Isotopes of Pennies, deals with isotopes and atomic mass.However, the carbon-14 that was in the organism at death continues to disintegrate.By measuring how much carbon is left in a sample as well as its radioactivity, we can calculate when the organism died. In this activity, you will work backwards to solve a puzzle, much like scientists work backwards to find the time that an organism died." Procedure Give each student a copy of The Case of the Melting Ice student sheet.

To be able to do this lesson and understand the idea of half-life, students should understand ratios and the multiplication of fractions, and be somewhat comfortable with probability.Students should answer the questions on their student sheet based on their graphs and the data they collected.Students can check their answers by going to the Radiometric Dating page by Professor Pamela Gore from the Georgia Perimeter College.You can continue to fill the funnels as different classes arrive.Empty the graduated cylinders between classes if the volume is more than about 25 ml.

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