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For the laboratory portion of this lesson, you will have to set up the ring stands, rings, funnels, and graduated cylinders.
Fill the funnels with ice before the students arrive in the classroom.
Students should answer the questions on their student sheet based on their graphs and the data they collected.
Students can check their answers by going to the Radiometric Dating page by Professor Pamela Gore from the Georgia Perimeter College.
You can refer to How Carbon-14 Dating Works, from How Stuff Works, to help you answer the question.
Carbon-14 is continually formed in nature by the interaction of neutrons with nitrogen-14 in the Earth’s atmosphere; the neutrons required for this reaction are produced by cosmic rays interacting with the atmosphere.
Carbon-14 is produced constantly as our atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays.
It is incorporated into the carbon cycle, so that all living things, including you, contain radioactive carbon-14.
On a separate sheet of paper, immediately record the volume of Frosty's melted remains (water) in your graduated cylinder and note the time on the clock.However, the carbon-14 that was in the organism at death continues to disintegrate.By measuring how much carbon is left in a sample as well as its radioactivity, we can calculate when the organism died. In this activity, you will work backwards to solve a puzzle, much like scientists work backwards to find the time that an organism died." Procedure Give each student a copy of The Case of the Melting Ice student sheet.Living things have about 15 disintegrations per minute per gram of carbon.Because living things constantly interchange carbon atoms, the amount of carbon-14 remains constant, but when organisms die, no new carbon-14 enters the organism.
(This page has been archived and is found on the Internet Archive.) In addition to using answers to students' Analysis questions and their graphs for evaluation, consider having them respond to the following in their science journals or as a homework essay: Pretend you are on a month-long field trip to dig for artifacts that might have been left from the pre-colonial period in the United States.