To introduce students who are blind or visually impaired to the relationships among changes in volume, mass, and density
Density is a tough concept for all students to understand. However, during an introductory physics course, density is an important concept. Several density kits are available commercially form science education supply catalogs. (See product tips section of this website.) However a hands-on activity for students to create their own density boxes allows for a better grasp of the varying concepts involved.
To create cotton ball box where the density of the cotton balls can be increased and measured. Other box volumes can be used.
Collect several boxes with lids. These need to be the same size for each group. Gift boxes are easy to measure and they come in multiple sizes. Filling the boxes with sand, cotton balls, or crushed paper produces boxes with differing masses that are easily discernible kinesthetically by lifting the boxes.
Having students create the boxes provides an opportunity to practice measurement techniques as well as makes them aware of the equivalent masses. You can then compare the sizes and masses (weights) and do the math to figure the densities. The following is an example of what a data collection chart might look like comparing cotton balls, crushed paper and sand:
|Box Mass 1
|Box Mass 2
|Box Mass 3
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