Volume of a Penny Lab – New!

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Problem: How can we use water displacement to calculate the volume of one penny?

Materials:

  • Volume of a Penny Lab (PDF)
  • Graduated cylinders (25 mL, 50 mL, or 100 mL)
  • Cup or beaker of water, food coloring optional
  • Pennies – 100+ per group
  • Tub
  • Plastic Spoon – to pour water out of graduated cylinder and separate pennies

Screen Shot 2019-10-18 at 10.33.54 PM

This is a simple & fun lab to have students practice measuring and reading volume as well as use water displacement to determine the volume of  a penny – an irregularly shaped object.

Students will design their own series of 10 tests with the following criteria:

  • All pennies must be under water inside of the graduated cylinder.
  • The volume of water must not pass the 100 mL (or highest) increment.
  • All data is recorded carefully.

Students were able to carefully measure and determine that the volume of a penny was 0.35 mL – most students were very close with a range of 0.33 – 0.37 mL.

https://www.instagram.com/peckscience/

One thought on “Volume of a Penny Lab – New!

  1. Shelby K June 2, 2021 / 10:15 am

    This is a great activity! I have done something similar where In an extension activity, the students can calculate the density by also finding the mass of the pennies. Then, they can determine what year the composition of the penny changed.

    Like

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