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Heavy Metal


Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Heavy Metal

In this activity (on pages 25-31 of PDF), learners soak sponges with different amounts of plaster of paris to simulate different levels of calcification in bone formation. After being allowed to harden for 48 hours, the different simulated bones are tested by loading them with weight until they break. The lesson plan connects this to calcium nutrition and osteoporosis, and contains advice for building up calcium in bones. The activity is suggested for grades 5-8, but can be done as a demonstration for grades 3-4.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • Slightly moist sponges (not dry and brittle) enough for 3 cm. by 8 cm. (1.2 in. by 3.2 in.) sections for each student or group of students. It is important that all students use the same type and size of sponge so that comparisons can be made.
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape, labels, or permanent markers
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Measuring cups
  • Tablespoons
  • 16-oz. disposable mixing containers, one for each student or group of students (e.g., yogurt or cottage cheese containers)
  • Water
  • Stirring sticks, one for each student or group of students
  • Weighing scale
  • Old newspapers to protect work space

Subjects


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Skeleton
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2004

Funding Source:

  • Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon

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