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In this Experiment students make a Model of an Atom with a Walnut Shell
6, 7, 8
Title – WALNUT SHELL SCIENCE
By – Judy Schneider
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Science
Grade Level – 6 – 8 (adaptable)
SCIENCE PROJECT OF THE WEEK
WALNUT SHELL SCIENCE
PROBLEM: Can I make a model of an atom using a walnut shell and tiny objects to represent the nucleus?
RESEARCH: Look up atomic structure, especially the size of an atom in a science textbook. How many particles are found in the nucleus of a uranium atom?
HYPOTHESIS: If you put lots of things in the walnut shell how is that like an atom nucleus?
as many items as you can possibly fit into the walnut shell
one walnut, carefully broken into two complete halves and the nut and all partitions carefully removed
1. You are expected to fit a minimum of fifty items into the shell.
2. Items you may put into the walnut shell may include:
a) a grain of sand d) a thread from cloth
b) a dog hair e) a grain of salt
c) a nail clipping f) other items. . .herbs, bits of paper, hole punches
NOT MORE THAN TEN OF ANY ONE ITEM (10 grains of sand, 10 threads, anything else).
3. All items must be whole. You may fold things, but not cut them. For example: You may include a stamp, fold it very small, but not cut off parts.
4. Make a list of all items you include. Record the number of each item, how many there are.
5. Tape the shell closed. Items must not be coming out of the shell. Bring it to class in a sandwich bag. IN CLASS, open the shell after your teacher has verified that nothing is coming out of the shell, and empty the items into the sandwich bag.
6. Turn in the list, the shell, and the sandwich bag with all the items in the bag. You will receive one point for every 10 items that you put into the shell.
DATA: Your data must include your list, the walnut shell, and the sandwich bag with the contents of the walnut shell.
CONCLUSION: This is not optional. You must explain what you learned by doing this activity.
Remember that you must answer the question you asked in your original problem statement.
NOTE: BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR PARENT OR GUARDIAN SIGNS YOUR WORK. PARENTS: YOUR SIGNATURE SHOWS YOUR STUDENT HAS DONE THE WORK.
POSSIBLE HYPOTHESIS: The nucleus of an atom is packed with many tiny particles. The student can make a model that shows how many objects can be placed in a tiny space by fitting as many items into the walnut shell as possible. Answers will vary, but students should guess how many items they can fit into the shell.
POSSIBLE CONCLUSION: The walnut shell is a good analogy to the nucleus because so many items are packed into such a small space. Students will explore how small objects in our world can be. Some students have been able to get more than 250 different items inside.
Literature Tie-in: The stories of Thumbelina and Tom Thumb would be great to read to the class.
E-Mail Judy Schneider !