Radiometric Dating: Need to Practice?

Last year, we posted a video explaining how to do three types of radiometric dating problems; we wrote about it in this blog post.

Activity screen 1I am pleased to report that the prodigious Matt Taylor has now released an activity with four sample problems that your students can work. The first two problems are pretty typical. In question #1, students are given the half-life and % of the isotope remaining and must figure out the age of the fossil. In question #2, students are given the age and half-life, and they must determine what % of the isotope remains.

The last two questions are different. In #3, students are given the graph of isotope decay and told the half-life of the isotope; they must click on the part of the graph corresponding to a particular time. And in #4, students are given information about the % remaining of three isotopes and must arrange them in order based on their half-lives.

The video is designed to walk students through this content, step by step, and the activity can help students assess their understanding. We encourage you to share both resources with your students — or better yet, go through them together, pay attention when your students struggle, and use your insights to refine your teaching. (Yes, I’m looking right at you, teacher with a growth mindset!)

This entry was posted in Assessment, Chemistry, Instructional technology, Teaching, Videos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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