Lab Mass Volume, and Density

Name: ___________________ Date: _______________ Page: ______
Volume and Density Lab
Low Density = parts
are farther apart
High Density = parts
are close together
Background: Density is a measure of how much mass there is in a certain
volume of a substance. In other words, density is how tightly packed the particles
are that make up solids, liquids, and gases. The closer the particles are, the more
density an object has. If you know the mass and volume of an object, you can
calculate its density. Look at the example below.
Classroom #1
Classroom #2
Classroom #1 has a larger number of students (mass) in the same amount of space (volume) as classroom #2. Classroom
#1 has a larger density of students since they are more tightly packed into their room compared to room #2.
To determine if air has mass.
To examine the relationship between mass, volume, &
Volume of cylinder:
graduated cylinder
digital scale
Volume of cube:
mass ÷ volume
2 pennies (stacked)
1 marble
1 die
1 plastic prism
Part A: Determining density mathematically.
You will be calculating the density of a prism, a die, 2 pennies, and a marble using
a formula.
 What does ‘density’ mean?
 Predict which object (prism, die, 2 pennies, marble) you think will be the most
dense. __________
 Provide a quick explanation for why you chose the item you did.
 Use the digital scales to determine the mass of each of the given items (plastic
prism, die, pennies, and marble). Input the values in the chart.
 Use the given mathematical formulas to determine the volume of the prism and
die. Input the values in the chart.
 Use the density formula to determine the mathematical density for each of the
given items.
 If you did not predict the correct item with the highest density, what did you
 If you did predict the correct item with the highest density, try to think of an
everyday item in the classroom that would be even more dense. __________
Part A:
Plastic prism
Part B: Determining the density experimentally.
You will use an experiment to find the density of objects and compare to your
results in part A. This method is used to find volume when objects are hard to
measure with rulers.
 Add 500mL of water to the beaker.
 Add the plastic prism and measure the new volume. If the prism wants to
float, hold it down enough to cover the prism with water but not dipping
your finger into the water.
 Record the new volume in the appropriate place on the chart.
 Subtract 500mL from the new volume to determine the volume of the prism.
 Remove the prism from the beaker.
 Add 25 mL to the graduated cylinder.
 Add the marble to the cylinder and find the new volume.
 Record the volume in the chart.
 Remove the marble from the graduated cylinder and make sure there is still
25 mL of water left.
 Repeat steps 7-9 with the pennies and dice.
 Use the mass determined in Part A and the experimental volume calculated
in Part B to determine the experimental density.
Part B:
Plastic prism
Volume of
cylinder +
Volume of
item =
(volume of
cylinder +
item) –
500 mL in
Questions/Results: Answer on a separate sheet.
1. How did the experimental volumes in Part B compare to the mathematical
volumes calculated in Part A?
2. How did the experimental densities in Part B compare to the mathematical
densities calculated in Part A?
3. Which method for finding volume do you think is more accurate? Explain
your answer.
4. In a few sentences, explain what this lab activity has to do with what we are
studying in science about the air in the atmosphere.
5. What is the relationship between the density of the air and the amount of
oxygen available to breathe? (Hint: As the density of air increases….)
6. Why does the density of the air increase as you get closer to Earth’s surface?
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