They should also understand that the atoms of any element are alike but are different from atoms of other elements.
The exercise they will go through of working backwards from measurements to age should help them understand how scientists use carbon dating to try to determine the age of fossils and other materials.
To be able to do this lesson and understand the idea of half-life, students should understand ratios and the multiplication of fractions, and be somewhat comfortable with probability.
For the laboratory portion of this lesson, you will have to set up the ring stands, rings, funnels, and graduated cylinders.
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah.
Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use.