# Teachers Guide to Density Treasure Hunt

```Teachers Guide to Density Treasure Hunt
The density treasure hunt is a fun way for students to learn about density.
Students will learn about the effect density has on things that sink or float (buoyancy) and
whether things will mix together (miscible) or not (immiscible). Density can be defined
as how much something weighs compared to how large it is. Two object that are the same
size and have different masses, have different densities. The object with a larger mass
compared to its size has a larger density.
Students will learn that solids with greater densities than water will sink and
solids with smaller densities than water will float. They will also learn that liquids with
the same density will mix and liquids with different densities will form layers, with the
liquid of larger density on the bottom.
Materials: (materials are enough for one group of 2-3 students)
6 clear plastic cups
Paper clip
Ping pong ball
Cork
Tooth pick
Coin
Plastic bead with a small hole
Food coloring
Corn Syrup colored purple
Water colored green
Rubbing Alcohol colored blue
Vegetable oil
Milk
11 small containers with caps to hold the liquids in
*16 Paper lunch bags
Green, yellow and purple crayons
4 spoons or things to stir with
Candy or Toys for the Treasure
Treasure Hunt Worksheets 1-4
*While the materials call for 16 paper bags, it is not necessary to have a set of bags with
the incorrect codes on them for every student. Of the 16 bags 12 of them have wrong
answers on them and 4 of them contain the materials for the next activity. I would
suggest have 2 sets of bags with incorrect answers on them. This would give a total of 24
bags + 4 for every group of students. (A class with 10 groups of students would be 64
bags).
Instructions
** The four activities can be put together in the treasure hunt format, or the activities can
be done separately as mini activities and they can ignore the secret codes.
Part 1 – “Sink or Float” – For this activity each group of students needs one cup, a paper
clip, ping pong ball, cork, tooth pick, a coin and the “Sink or Float” worksheet (one
worksheet for each student). Because this is the first activity of the treasure hunt, these
items can be place on the students work station. Of the five items, the cork, the tooth pick
and the ping pong ball will float, therefore the secret code from the first activity will be 3.
Using 5 of the paper bags, label them #1-5. In bag #3 put the materials for the second
activity described below. In the other bags place the “Sorry. Go back to the last activity
and check your answers” note. Place these bags in a place where students can find them.
Part 2- “Layer Up!” – For this activity, you will need one cup, one plastic container filled
with oil labeled #1, one plastic container filled corn syrup labeled #2, and one plastic
container filled with water labeled #3. Place these materials in the bag labeled #3 along
with the worksheet for the “Layer Up” activity (one worksheet for each student). The
students worksheets instruct them to pour the liquids into a cup and see what happens.
They then record their answers in the sheet. # 2 (corn syrup) will be on the bottom, #3
(water) will be in the middle, and #1 (oil) will be on top. The liquid that is most dense is
corn syrup, least dense is oil and the secret code is 231. Using 5 of the paper bags, label
them 231, 123, 321, 213, and 132. In bag 231 put the materials for the third activity
described below. In the other bags place the “Sorry. Go back to the last activity and check
your answers” note. Place these bags in a place where students can find them. Separate
from the bag for activity #2
Part 3 – “To Mix or Not to Mix” – In bag 231, place 3 containers labeled #1 and water, 2
bags labeled #2 and oil, 2 containers labeled #3 and milk, 1 container labeled #4 and
alcohol (8 containers total), 4 cups and 4 things to stir with along with the worksheet for
the “To Mix or Not to Mix” activity (one worksheet for each student). For this activity,
students are asked to pour combinations of liquids into a cup and see if they mix or form
layers. Milk and water will mix, water and oil will form layers, oil and milk will form
layers, and water and alcohol will mix. The liquids that mix with water are alcohol and
milk. The liquid that did not mix with water is oil. Oil is did not mix or is immiscible
with milk, therefore, oil is the secret code. Using 3 of the paper bags, label them water,
alcohol and oil. Place the materials for the next activity in the bag labeled oil. In the other
bags place the “Sorry. Go back to the last activity and check your answers” note. Place
these bags in a place where students can find them. Separate from the bag for activity #2
and #3.
Part 4 – “Which Layer?” – In the bag labeled oil place the bead along with the worksheet
for the “Which Layer?” activity (one worksheet for each student). The students will use
the cup with the layers from the “Layer Up!” activity and are instructed to drop the bead
into the cup and see where it lands. The bead should fall through the oil and water and
rest on the corn syrup. The bead will be buoyant in corn syrup. Place the treasure in a bag
marked corn syrup. In two other bags write, oil and water and place the “Sorry. Go back
Sorry. Go back to the last activity and check your
Sorry. Go back to the last activity and check your
Sorry. Go back to the last activity and check your
Treasure Hunt Part 1
There’s a hidden treasure and it’s your job to find it. Each activity
reveals a secret code to get to the next. Complete each activity to get one
step closer to finding the treasure. Good Luck!
Sink or Float
Key words: density, buoyancy
Density is how much something weighs compared to how big it is.
When two things are the same size and one weighs more than the other, the
one that weighs more has more density. When a solid object has less density
than a liquid, it will float or is buoyant.
Directions:
Fill a cup halfway with water. Drop each of the 5 objects in and see
whether they sink or float. The five objects have different densities. Objects
that have a density less than water will float and objects that have a density
greater than water will sink. Circle SINK or FLOAT next to each object.
1) Paper Clip
SINK
FLOAT
2) Ping Pong Ball
SINK
FLOAT
3) Cork
SINK
FLOAT
4) Tooth Pick
SINK
FLOAT
5) Coin
SINK
FLOAT
How many objects will FLOAT in the water? ___________
How many objects will SINK in the water? ___________
The secret code is how many objects are buoyant in
water? ___________
Treasure Hunt Part 2
Congratulations! You are one step closer to finding the treasure. Try
this new activity for another secret code. Good luck!
Layer Up
We learned when solids are less dense than a liquid, they would float
or have buoyancy and when solids are more dense, they will sink. What
happens when you have liquids with different densities?
Directions:
The three liquids in the bag all have different densities. The liquid
with the largest density will be on the bottom, the liquid with the smallest
density will be on top, and the other liquid will be in the middle.
Slowly pour liquid #1 into the cup. Slowly pour liquid #2 into the cup.
Slowly pour liquid #3 into the cup. Draw a picture of what they look like.
Which number is on the bottom? ________
Which number is in the middle? ________
Which number is on top? _______
#1 - oil
#2 - corn syrup
#3 - water
Which liquid is most dense (on the bottom)? _______________
Which liquid is least dense (on the top)? _______________
The secret code is BOTTOM #, MIDDLE #, TOP #
_____
_____
_____
Treasure Hunt Part 3
Congratulations! You are almost there. Try the next activity for the
secret code. Good Luck!
To Mix or Not to Mix
Key words: density
Directions:
From the last activity, you learned that when liquids have different
densities they make layers. When liquids have the same density, they will
mix together. Let’s see what liquids have the same density and what liquids
have different densities.
#1 - water
#2 - oil
#3 - milk
#4 - alcohol.
Pour #1 and #3 into a cup and then stir. Circle whether they MIX or
make LAYERS.
Pour #1 and #2 into a cup and then stir. Circle whether they MIX or
make LAYERS.
Pour #2 and #3 into a cup and then stir. Circle whether they MIX or
make LAYERS.
Pour #1 and #4 into a cup and then stir. Circle whether they MIX or
make LAYERS.
1) #1 (water) + #3 (milk)
LAYERS
MIX
2) #1 (water) + #2 (oil)
LAYERS
MIX
3) #2 (oil) + #3 (milk)
LAYERS
MIX
4) #1 (water) + #4 (alcohol)
LAYERS
MIX
What mixed with #1 (water) _____________________
What did not mix with #1 (water) ______________________
The secret code is what did not mix with #3 (milk)? _________
Treasure Hunt Part 4
Congratulations! You have reached the final activity of the treasure
hunt. The secret code to this activity will lead you to the treasure. Good
luck!
Which Layer?
Directions:
Using the cup with the layers from Layer Up! drop in the bead and see
where it lands.
Which liquids are on top of the bead? _____________________
Which layers are below the bead? _____________________
The secret code is what won’t the bead be buoyant in? ______________
*Hint: It is also the liquid that is least dense.
Treasure Hunt Part I
There’s a hidden treasure and it’s your job to find it. Each activity
reveals a secret code to get to the next. Complete the activities to get one
step closer to finding the treasure. Good Luck!
Sink or Float
Key words: density, buoyancy
Density is how much something weighs compared to how big it is.
When a solid object has less density than a liquid, it will float or is buoyant.
Directions:
Fill a cup halfway with water. Drop each of the 5 objects in and see
whether they sink or float. The five objects have different densities. Objects
that have a density less than water will float and objects that have a density
greater than water will sink. Write down your answer next to each object.
1) Paper Clip
____________________
2) Ping Pong Ball ____________________
3) Cork
____________________
4) Tooth Pick
5) Coin
____________________
____________________
How many objects are less dense than water? ___________
How many objects are denser than water? ___________
The secret code is how many objects are buoyant in
water? ___________
Treasure Hunt Part 2
Congratulations! You are one step closer to finding the treasure. Try
this new activity for another secret code. Good luck!
Layer Up!
We learned when solids are less dense than a liquid, they would float
or have buoyancy and when solids are more dense, they will sink. What
happens when you have liquids with different densities?
Directions:
The three liquids in the bag all have different densities. The liquid
with the largest density will be on the bottom.
Slowly pour liquid #1 into the cup followed by liquid # 2 and then
liquid #3. In the box below draw how the liquids layer.
#1 is oil, #2 is corn syrup and #3 is water.
Which liquid is most dense? _______________
Which liquid is least dense? _______________
If you order the numbers from most dense to least dense then you will get
the secret code.
Treasure Hunt Part 3
Congratulations! You are almost there. Try the next activity for the
secret code. Good Luck!
To Mix or Not to Mix
Key words: density, miscible, immiscible
Directions:
From the last activity, you learned that when liquids have different
densities they make layers, or they are immiscible. When liquids have the
same density, they will mix together, or are miscible. Let’s see what liquids
are miscible and what ones are immiscible.
#1 is water, #2 is oil, #3 is milk, and #4 is alcohol.
Pour #1 and #3 into a cup and then stir. Write down what happens.
Pour #1 and #2 into a cup and then stir. Write down what happens.
Pour #2 and #3 into a cup and then stir. Write down what happens.
Pour #1 and #4 into a cup and then stir. Write down what happens.
1) #1 + #3 ____________________
2) #1 + #2 ____________________
3) #2 + #3 _____________________
4) #1 + #4 _____________________
What is miscible with water? _____________________
What is immiscible with water? _______________________
The secret code is what is immiscible with milk? __________
Treasure Hunt Part 4
Congratulations! You have reached the final activity of the treasure
hunt. The secret code to this activity will lead you to the treasure. Good
luck!
Which Layer?
Directions:
Using the cup with the layers from Layer Up!, drop in the bead and
see where it lands.
Which liquids are more dense than the bead? _____________________
Which layers are less dense than the bead? _____________________
The secret code is what won’t the bead be buoyant in? ________________
Density Worksheet
1) If the density of air is 1.2 g/cm3, why does a balloon filled with helium float?
2) If you put an egg in water it will sink to the bottom, but when you cook an egg it will
float. What happens to the density of the egg when you cook it?
3) The density of water is 1.0 g/cm3, the density of lead is 11.36 g/cm3, the density of
aluminum is 2.70 g/cm3 and the density of wood is .60 g/cm3. What would you make a
boat out of and why?
***Bonus: What is something sold in a supermarket that is an example of immiscible
liquids?
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