Mass of Air Lab | 22.0KB

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The Mass of Air Lab
Name: ______________________________
5th Grade PSI Science
Score: ______________ / 5
Experiment Question:
How can the mass of air be observed?
Hypothesis Starters:
1. What are the properties of matter? Do the gases that make up air have these
properties? Explain your thinking.
2. How could you show that air takes up space using a balloon? Explain your thinking.
Purpose
These experiments will help you to observe that air does have mass and takes up
space. Even though we can’t see it with our eyes, air is all around us. You can feel
moving air when you sit in front of a fan. The molecules in air are really spread out and
this makes it very hard to weigh its mass on a scale.
Materials and Directions
The materials and directions for each station are included individually. Complete each
station before moving on to the next station. There are extra station spaces at the end
for you to write in stations that you have created or that your teacher has created for
you in addition to the standard stations.
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5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Station One: Air Takes Up Space
Empty balloon
Flexible tape measure (or a string and a ruler)
1. Blow two or three breaths of air into the balloon and pinch the
end closed. The balloon should be just a bit inflated but not full.
DO NOT tie the balloon closed.
2. Measure the circumference of the largest part of the balloon with
the flexible tape measure. Record your results below. (If you do
not have a flexible tape measure, you can wrap a piece of string
around the balloon and then measure the used part of the string
with a ruler or meter stick.)
3. Inflate the balloon until it is full but does not pop.
4. Pinch the end closed and measure the circumference again.
Observations Circumference Before Circumference After
Difference
Materials:
Directions:
Station Two: Mass of Air – Balloon #1
Balance or Scale
Empty Balloon
1. Find the mass of the empty balloon by placing it on the balance
2. Fill the balloon with air and tie it closed.
3. Find the mass of the filled balloon by placing it on the balance.
Observations Mass Before
Mass After
Difference
Materials:
Directions:
Station Three: Mass of Air – Soda Bottle #1
Materials:
Balance or Scale
Empty soda bottle with cap (2L size works
well)
Directions:
1. Find the mass of the “empty” soda bottle and cap using the
balance
2. Take the cap off of the bottle and squeeze as much air as you
can out of the bottle by crushing it.
3. Put the cap on the bottle before air can get back in.
4. Find the mass of the “crushed” soda bottle and cap using the
balance.
Observations Mass Before
Mass After
Difference
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5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Materials:
Directions:
Station Four: Mass of Air – Balloons #2
Two empty balloons
Meter stick
String
Scissors
2 paper clips
Tape
1. Tie a piece of string at the 50.0cm mark on the meter stick to
using as a hanger/handle during the experiment.
2. Tie a piece of string at the 5.0cm mark on the meter stick.
3. Tape the string in place on the meter stick.
4. Tie a paper clip to the end of the string.
5. Tie a piece of string at the 95.0cm mark on the meter stick.
6. Tape the string in place on the meter stick.
7. Tie a paper clip to the end of the string.
8. Put the neck of a balloon through each paper clip so that the
paper clip holds the empty balloon.
9. Hold the meter stick up by the handle string.
10. If the meter stick is not balanced, move the holder string along
the meter stick until both sides are balanced.
11. Tape the holder string in place so it does not move.
12. Take the balloons off the paper clips.
13. Blow up both balloons so that they are different sizes and tie the
ends closed. The bigger the difference, the better the results
should be.
14. Hang the balloons back from the same paper clips as before.
15. Hold the meter stick up by the handle string.
16. Draw a picture of your result below.
Observations
Station Five: Mass of Air – Soda Bottles #2
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5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Materials:
Directions:
Two empty soda bottles (2L)
Measuring stick
String
Scissors
Tape
1. Tie a piece of string at the 50.0cm mark on the meter stick to
using as a hanger/handle during the experiment.
2. Tie a piece of string at the 5.0cm mark on the meter stick.
3. Tape the string in place on the meter stick.
4. Tie a soda bottle to the string.
5. Tie a piece of string at the 95.0cm mark on the meter stick.
6. Tape the string in place on the meter stick.
7. Tie a soda bottle to the string.
8. Hold the meter stick up by the handle string.
9. If the meter stick is not balanced, move the holder string along
the meter stick until both sides are balanced.
10. Tape the holder string in place so it doesn’t move.
11. Squeeze as much air as possible out of one of the soda bottles.
12. Hold the meter stick up by the handle string.
13. Draw a picture of your result below.
Observations
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5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Custom Station
Materials:
Directions:
Observations
Before:
Observations
During:
Observations
After:
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5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Laboratory Questions:
On a sheet of paper or in your laboratory notebook, answer the following questions for
each station you tested.
1. Which station best showed that air takes up space? Explain your thinking.
2. Which station best showed that air has mass? Explain your thinking.
3. Why did the meter stick tilt during stations four and five? Explain your thinking.
(HINT: How does a see-saw work on the playground?)
Conclusion:
On a sheet of paper or in your laboratory notebook, write a paragraph that summarizes
the experiment results and covers the following key points.
1. How did you show that air takes up space?
2. How did you show that air has mass?
3. Is air matter based on your results?
www.njctl.org
5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
Notes to the Teacher:
Be aware of your school’s policy regarding latex balloons. Some schools do not permit
their use because of latex allergies. Often, you may be granted permission if you
perform it as a demonstration.
This could be set up as a station experiment where the students perform each station or
as a demonstration experiment where the teacher performs each for the class as a
whole. You do not technically need to do all four of stations 2-5. One station will
illustrate the point. Stations 2 and 3 require balances or scales and are high accuracy.
Stations 4 and 5 will not have a mass measurement, but do show a visual comparison.
Any of these could also be done as an inquiry activity. Alternately, you could
demonstrate stations 2 and 4 and ask students to develop their own procedures for
stations 3 and 5.
www.njctl.org
5th Grade PSI
Matter and Its Interactions
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