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Salt Water Density Experiment

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Step 3: Additional Ideas and Resources

Extension/Modification Ideas:
  • Use a triple beam balance of electronic scale to teach or practice that skill
  • Use hot and cold water instead.
  • Compare salt and fresh water and connect with the environment.
  • Have older students teach this to younger students.
  • Use other liquids to make density columns. (Water, oil, alcohol, etc.)
  • Make a much larger one as part of a science night.
  • Let students try making different density salt solutions and try to figure out which ones work the best and how that relates to density.

Other Density Demos:
  • Egg in salt water or tap water
  • Ice in water or rubbing alcohol

Attachment:
I attached a Word document that is a template for a guided lab report that you feel free to modify and use.

Other Ideas and Resources:
These are just some ideas and alternate extensions.  

Some additional references will many different versions of this same idea:
DENSITY: SALTWATER COLUMN LAB TEACHER PREPARATION
Explains a different way to prepare solutions and some "discussion" questions as a worksheet for students

Liquid Rainbow
Written from the standpoint of ocean science for elementary school.  Contains a lot of "teacher lingo" (e.g. key concepts, big idea, objectives, etc.)

GEMS: Discovering Density book
This book costs $18, but I think is where I first saw the idea for this lab.  The handouts are free online in Spanish.  So that might make this a cool activity to do with students learning Spanish too!

Steve Spangler 7-Layer Density Column
This link provides a video showing a different density experiment with different types of liquids to see how their relative densities are different.  They do use the word "heavier" instead of density.  He uses a slightly different way of layering.

NOAA Lesson Plan: Hot, Cold, Fresh and Salty
Another Earth Science/Oceans connection.  This lesson plan gives ideas about having students compare hot and cold water and fresh and salty water.  These are extensions that would be great to add to a simpler lesson like the one I posted.



 
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