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Two paths for the teaching of ‘Density of Metals’:

A traditional path and an approach utilizing virtual reality

By Cassie Hauschildt

The fact that different metals can have different densities can be a hard concept for students to understand. Fortunately, there’s a simple science experiment to help students interact with some metals and visualize the information.

You will need the following materials:

  • Graduated Cylinder (100 ml) – at least one ($10 online)
  • Water
  • 6 Unknown Metals – sized to fit in the graduated cylinder ($80 online)
  • Small Scale ($30-60 online)

As with all science experiments, we recommend the following PPE:

  • Goggles
  • Apron or Lab Coat
  • Gloves

First, you will want to find the density of water. This can be done by first, finding the weight of the cylinder. Then pour 10 ml of water into your graduated cylinder and weighing it. Then, remove the cylinder from the scale and add an additional 20 to 30 ml of water. Before weighing the cylinder, students can guess how much it will weigh.

Don’t forget the equation of density is p=m/v

Next, we can start learning about the density of the metals! Begin by pouring 50 ml of water into your graduated cylinder. Measure the weight of the cylinder with 50 ml of water. Remove the cylinder from the scale and carefully insert the first metal into the cylinder. Note the volume – which can be determined by seeing the top of the water in the cylinder. Next, weigh the cylinder with all items. Use this weight to determine the density of the metal. Use this density to determine what your mystery metal is.

Repeat these steps with the remaining metals.

This YouTube video may be of assistance as well: https://youtu.be/NJhxwlVKong

You can also access this experiment in VXRLabs Chemistry Lab. The lab is part of the VictoryXR Triple Play which includes access to VXRLabs, VXRWeb, and VXR.Direct. 

VXRLabs includes: 

  • More than 20 other science experiments a student can complete alone or with friends (with more being uploaded regularly) 
  • Immersive learning experiences in history, math, literature, and language, 
  • Over 120 360 global VR Field Trips including Iceland, China, D-day, and many more.

VXRWeb includes immersive experiences in multiple subjects for PC, Mac, and Chromebook. 

VXR.Direct includes over 100 asynchronous (single player), immersive, hands-on virtual reality  lessons.

Triple Play Cost: Less than $20 per month
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