“We see four trajectories,” says Pamela Orpinas, a professor of behavioral research at the University of Georgia and the lead author of the study, which included 600 students.
“Some kids never or hardly ever dated; some kids did not date during middle school and started dating during high school.
Students should recognize each time the number should go down by appx half.
The first post question caused some confusion: Why didn't each group get the same results?
A lot of the students said because they shook the containers differently... I also have students wash their hands before the activity, because of course after, the students eat the M&Ms. Radioactive decay and half-lives can be a very difficult concept for our 8th graders to grasp.
Daughter isotopes are represented by the M side down (stable).
Students begin by pouring the 100 M&Ms on the table, and set aside the "stable" isotopes (M side down).
Skills: -critical thinking -data analysis -questioning -graphing and data collecting Vocab Words: 1. This activity can be adapted for older students, but is used in an 8th grade earth science classroom.
Class size can vary, but activity should be done in groups of 2-3.
Once students are in their groups, with supplies, and general directions are given, they are on their own for doing their runs.
Students will record the number of M&Ms that are still "radioactive" (M side up) in their data table after each run, and set aside the "stable" (M side down) M&Ms.
This activity would also be easy to adapt when talking about half-lives within a chemistry course. Also, review what a half-life is (info given the day prior during lecture/ notes/ reading).
New information needed to be introduced with parent and daughter isotopes.
They not only enjoyed this activity, but they really gained a better understanding of it as well.