Density Lab

Investigation: How can we determine the density of any small object?

Materials: graduated cylinder (or beaker), scale, dense objects


1. Make a prediction: which of your objects is the most dense? Record your answer in the ‘data’ section.

2. In a data table that you come up with, record

  1. Each object’s mass using the scale
  2. Each object’s volume using the water displacement method

3. Calculate the density of each object using the density formula from the Earth Science Reference Tables

4. Data Analysis:

-According to your data, which object was the densest?

-Which was the least dense?

-How did you ensure that your data was correct? List your step by step approach to figuring out the density of each object.

-What were some possible sources of error in collecting your data?

If you run out of space on your lab, staple a piece of loose leaf to the back! (make sure you label which section it applies to)

Lab Questions:

1.What is the density of a piece of wood that has a mass of 25.0 grams and a volume of 29.4 cm3?

2.A cup of gold colored metal beads was measured to have a mass 425 grams. By water displacement, the volume of the beads was calculated to be 48.0 cm3. Given the following densities, identify the metal.


Gold: 19.3 g/mL        Copper: 8.86 g/mL                Bronze: 9.87 g/mL

3. What is the density of a metal ball that has a volume of 45 cm3 and a mass of 53 grams?

4. An ice cube measuring 5.80 cm by 5.80 cm by 5.80 cm has a density of 0.917 g/mL. What is the mass?

5. Five samples of the mineral pyrite were recorded on the graph below:

According to that data, what is the density of pyrite?

6. (from NY Regents)


If you had a piece of copper (density 8.86m/L) and cut it in half, what would the density of each half be? Why?


Think of three density questions to challenge your neighbor! (then answer your neighbor’s questions)