administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Density and Buoyancy
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Oregon State Department of Education



  • blocks of various materials and sizes
  • clay, butter, candy bars, and other foods
  • 2 balls
  • triple-beam balance or scale, and metric ruler
  • wide-opening graduated cylinder (100 - 200 ml)
  • water displacement canister or 500 ml beaker
  • calculator



  • 35mm film canister
  • materials to fill canister
  • marking pens
  • masking tape
  • wide-mouth jar
  • two-liter soda bottle cut in half or 500ml beaker
  • triple-beam balance or scale
  • metric ruler
  • calculator


Your task is to plan, design, and conduct an investigation to answer a scientific question. The question is: "Come up with a question that addresses the factors (variables) of the water and its effect on whether an object will float or sink." You may use any of the materials and equipment in the laboratory for your investigation of this question.

1) Under the heading "PROCEDURE" list, in order, the steps you will use to answer the question. You may include a diagram to help illustrate your plans for the investigation. Include any safety procedures you would follow. Make your procedure detailed enough, so someone else could follow it easily.

  • Construct a data table or chart or indicate any other method you could use to record your observations and results that will be obtained.
  1. Perform the investigation by following the steps outlined in your procedure. Be sure to note any changes to your listed procedures and tell why.
  • Under the heading "RESULTS" record your observations and measurements. Write statements or paragraphs and/or use tables and graphs where appropriate.
  1. Under the heading "CONCLUSIONS," write an interpretation and analysis of your results. Note any limitations to your investigation. What additional investigations or questions were suggested as you did your investigation?
  2. Under the heading "SCIENTIFIC QUESTION," based on what you learned in your investigation, write your own question that can be answered with further scientific inquiry using the same classroom materials that you had for this investigation.
  3. Write a report of your investigation, including the sections mentioned above.





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