Physical properties of matter review using pennies Mass, Volume, and Density Lab
Physical properties of matter review using pennies to find mass, density, and volume.

You will need many pennies for this lab
15 each of 1981 and older ones and 1983 and newer ones per group.
Triple balance beam per group or a central few
Small graduated cylinder approximately 50mL

I did this with my 6th grade science class give them a hands on comparison that density is different from volume and that density of the same materials stays the same no matter the weight.

Students develop a hypothesis about the difference in properties of older vs newer pennies.

Measure mass on the balance beam.
Measure volume using water displacement.

After they take all the measurements they must calculate the density of the pennies ( formula and steps provided on student sheet)

Next they fill in a bar graph making a visual of the results, there is a premade table on the student handout.

Finally they must answer
How does the density of old and new pennies compare?
What can be inferred from the data collected?
Is density a physical or chemical property
What happened to pennies in 1982?

Keep in mind that 1982 pennies will not work for this lab since both copper and zinc pennies were made in that year.
Includes an answer key, will take between 60-90 minutes for students to complete
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Created: Jan 7, 2017

Updated: Feb 22, 2018

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