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Growing, Growing, Growing Project: Half-Life

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Students use cubes to simulate the radioactive decay of a substance and estimate its half-life. They then create a new situation involving radioactive decay and design and carry out their own simulation.

Materials Needed

Adaptions and Notes

  • Students will have to determine what number on the dice represents the “X” marked on the cube. The number does not matter. But students will have to be consistent.  
  • Additional Questions can be asked after students have collected their data. 

Possible CCSS

Grade 7

Ratios and Proportional relationships 7.RP

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems

2. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.

a. Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.

Expressions and Equations 7.EE

Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.

4. Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.

Grade 8

Functions 8.F

Define, evaluate, and compare functions.

1. Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.

3. Interpret the equation y = mx + b as defining a linear function, whose graph is a straight line; give examples of functions that are not linear.

For example, the function A = s2 giving the area of a square as a function of its side length is not linear because its graph contains the points (1,1), (2,4) and (3,9), which are not on a straight line.

Use functions to model relationships between quantities.

4. Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.

5. Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.

Statistics and Probability 8.SP

Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data.

1. Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.