Is all ice created equal? A density lab.

Steve Schreiber
Menahga Public School
Menahga, MN


In this lab students will get to experiment with melting versus sublimation (ice going to water, dry ice going to CO2 gas). They will create their own table to help show that as materials change states their density changes. They will then graph the changes and use their information to find the density of both.

Learning Goals

Goals of the students are...
To practice finding density
To see state changes
To practice creating tables and graphs
To use information obtained in a lab to create data and to analyze that data and come to conclusions on what they observed

Context for Use

Appropriate teaching situations would include lessons on density and changes of matter state. You could also add a temperature influence into this lab. Time needed for this lab is approx. 30-45 minutes depending on how much in class conclusion you want to incorporate. This is a very easy lab to adapt to other settings.

Subject: Chemistry:General Chemistry:Properties of Matter
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)

Description and Teaching Materials

Dry ice
Ice cubes
25 mL beakers
rubber bands

This lesson will be a good introductory lesson for the unit on density, mass, pressure, and volume. It is used to get students thinking about why something has a certain density. The students will measure mass changes and use this data to create a table. They will then use the table to create a graph. I do not include a table because this helps the students to create an organized way of analyzing the data for themselves. In my closure of this lab I will get back in our full group setting and address the questions in the lab along with any other questions that the students have. This is also a good time to address any issues the students may have had during the lab. I did not find any similar labs but am sure there are probably some out there. Ice mini lab hand out (Microsoft Word 32kB Aug3 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

I have not currently used this lab but I anticipate students will struggle creating a table. Do not just give them the table but help those out that need it.


Students will hand in the pre and post questions along with the table they develop and the graphs they make.



References and Resources