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This lab can let students do "virtual" measurements of the mass and volume (via water displacement) for a variety of objects.

-- See bottom of page for a PDF worksheet you can download --


You can grab on object by holding the mouse down over it. You can then drag the object to either of your tools: the beaker which measures water displacement (note the sophisticated thumb tack that hold things underwater at the time) and the big scale.

Using the tools you will find the mass and volume of the objects. You can also drop your objects in the pail to see if they sink or float. Then, consider relationships involving the mass and volume to try to predict the sinking or floating.

To test your theory, don't use all the objects right away, save several to test your theory.

Questions to consider:

Does the mass of an object tell you whether or not the object will sink or float?

What about the volume (do bigger objects sink compared to small ones)?

Frank Tuttle from Dublin Scioto High School sent me this nice worksheet which is used by freshman in tandem with this shocked module.

Click Here for Density Worksheet (in PDF format - go to Adobe's HP for the Acrobat Reader software)

PS. I'll add more of a challenge to this when I find time...including mystery objects to present after the theory is developed, along with being able to change the "fluid" in the pail.

This was done by Raman Pfaff. If you would like more information, please contact me at