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Task with Student Directions

8th Grade Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)


At this station, you will determine the number of shakes necessary to dissolve various sugar sized particles.


  • 1 sugar cube
  • water (500ml)
  • granulated sugar in a sealed container
  • 2 bottles with caps, labeled A and B
  • waste cup
  • safety goggles
  • teaspoon
  • super fine sugar sample
  • graduated cylinder


  1. Put on safety goggles. Do not taste any substance in this activity. Clean up any spills immediately.

  2. Use your hand lens to carefully observe the sugar cube and the super fine sugar. Which form of sugar has the smaller size particles? _______________________

  3. Add 50 ml of water to the two (2) bottles).

  4. Drop one sugar cube into bottle A and close the bottle tightly.

  5. Count how many shakes it takes to totally dissolve the sugar cube.

  6. Record your data in the data table below.

  7. Place one level teaspoon of super fine sugar into Bottle B and repeat steps 5 and 6.

  8. Dump the contents of the two (2) bottles into the waste cup and rinse the bottles. Leave one bottle on the desk and let it stand without movement.

    Data Table: Number of Shakes

    Types of Sugar
    Super fine Sugar
    Sugar Cube
    Number of Shakes


  9. Draw a line graph showing the number of shakes needed to dissolve the two forms of sugar. Use the grid below. Make sure you include the appropriate range and interval of numbers on the y-axis.

  10. Use your hand lens to carefully observe the particle size of the granulated table sugar. Use the information from the line graph. Predict the number of shakes it would take to completely dissolve one level teaspoon of the granulated table sugar in the same amount of water.


  11. Write a generalized statement which explains the relationship between the particle size of the sugar and the number of shakes needed to dissolve the sugar.


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