Conservation of Mass Activities

Instructor: Rachel Tustin

Dr. Rachel Tustin has a PhD in Education focusing on Educational Technology, a Masters in English, and a BS in Marine Science. She has taught in K-12 for more than 15 years, and higher education for ten years.

Teaching key scientific concepts such as the conservation of mass is no easy feat for a teacher. It requires making the abstract concrete for students. These activities will get you started teaching the law of conservation of mass to your students.

Teaching Conservation of Mass

Teaching students the law of conservation of mass or matter can be a challenging topic. For students, first of all, it is not always obvious that matter doesn't simply go away. And as teachers, we often don't have the resources for expensive equipment to prove to our students the law of conservation is true. So it can take some ingenuity to help students gather evidence so they can prove to themselves that mass is truly conserved.

Inflatable Conservation of Energy

In science classrooms, there always seems to be a few basic ingredients hanging around the storage cupboards like vinegar and baking soda. With these two ingredients, you can do all kinds of experiments, including proving to students that the law of conservation of matter does apply to the universe.

Materials

  • triple beam balance
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • balloons
  • 16-ounce clean water bottle
  • measuring cup
  • funnel

Procedures

  1. Explain to students that the law of conservation of matter states that matter cannot be created or destroyed in a chemical reaction.
  2. Have students measure the mass of the empty measuring cup on the triple beam balance. Have them also measure the mass of the balloon, and their bottle. All of these measurements should be recorded in their data table.
  3. Next, students should add ½ cup of baking soda using the measuring cup and place it back on the triple beam balance. The difference between the mass of the cup and the mass of the cup plus baking soda will give them the actual mass of the baking soda itself.
  4. Add the baking soda to the bottle using a funnel. Remind students it is important that all of the baking soda gets inside the bottle.

conservation of mass image 1

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support