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Triple Beam Balance Lab Activities

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Teaching your students about lab equipment and looking for fun and engaging activities to incorporate into your unit? This lesson contains several ideas to get students working with triple beam balances in engaging, meaningful ways.

Triple Beam Balances

Students sometimes wonder (often aloud) why triple beam balances are still used in classrooms today. Surely electronic balances are easier to use and far more accurate, mostly because the likelihood of human error is greatly reduced. This is a fair question to ask and one that can be answered easily by being direct and truthful: Triple beam balances are often cheaper and easier to service than electronic balances.

For these reasons, many schools choose to purchase triple beam balances with the goal of having them remain functional for many years. When provided with this information, students will often engage more willingly with triple beam balances, as many labs may still have this technology. The activities that follow are designed to engage students with triple beam balances in meaningful ways.

Precision Lab Activity

An effective way to introduce students to triple beam balances and the way they work is to have them hone their skills by using the devices to precisely measure mass. Before the lab, measure the mass of each object and write it down for your reference.

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