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Parts Per Million Day 1:

Special Delivery-Opinion (Language Arts)
Too Cool For School (Science)
Parts Per Million (Math)
Acting Out Energy (Social Studies)
Totally Cubular (Extension Activity)
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Links on this page: Student Questions | Teacher Answers | Student Data Table | Data Table - Teacher Key | Some Interesting Comparisons 

National Standards Met:

mathkeyZZ0203


Math discipline

 
Goal: Students observe that unexpected things may be present in the environment even though they are not visible; students can explain this phenomenon.

Objectives: Students will:

  • Perform a serial dilution of food coloring
  • Understand concentration levels
  • Differentiate parts per million (PPM) and parts per billion (ppb).


Materials (For each pair of students):

  • Chemplate
  • Medicine dropper
  • Paper towel
  • 15 - 20 mL tap water
  • small cup for rinse water
  • Parts Per Million Student Questions
  • Parts Per Million Student Data Table
  • Parts Per Million Teacher Answers
  • Parts Per Million Data Table Teacher Key
  • "Some Interesting Comparisons" sheet


Standards Met: S1, S2, S3, S7, M1, M17, LA4, LA5, LA7, LA8, LA12

Time:  45 minutes

Procedure:

  • Do pre-lab questions with the whole class.
  • Begin the experiment.
  • Place a small piece of white paper under your Chemplate. Half fill the large oval cup in your Chemplate with tap water. Put some extra tap water in a small container for rinsing your medicine dropper.
  • Your teacher will place 6 drops of food coloring in cup 1.
  • Using your eyedropper, remove one drop of food coloring from cup 1 and add it to cup 2.  Rinse your dropper thoroughly and add 9 drops of clean water from the oval cup in your Chemplate. Mix thoroughly.
  • Using your dropper, remove one drop of solution from cup 2 and add it to cup 3.  Rinse your dropper thoroughly, and add 9 drops of clean water from the oval cup in your Chemplate. Mix thoroughly.
  • Repeat the procedure for cups 4 - 9.
  • Record the colors of the solutions in the data table.  Determine the concentrations of the various cups and record them in the data table.  Cup 1 is a 1/10 concentration.
  • Answer the post-lab questions.
  • Follow your teacher's directions for clean up and return of the materials.
  • Pass out copies of "Some Interesting Comparisons" and discuss.

Parts Per Million - Student Questions

Pre-Lab Questions

  1. What is the definition of concentration?




     
  2. What is the definition of dilution?




     
  3. What is the definition of serial dilution?




     
  4. If you have 10% solution of food coloring, how many parts are water and how many parts are food coloring?


Post Lab Questions

  1. What is the number of the cup in which the solution first appeared colorless?




     
  2. What is the concentration of the solution in this cup?




     
  3. Do you think there is any food coloring present in this cup even though it is  colorless? Explain.




     
  4. Can you think of an experiment you might do with the solutions to see what might be present if the water was removed? Before trying, get your teacher's permission. Record your results.

Parts Per Million - Teacher Answers

Pre-Lab Questions

  1. What is the definition of concentration?
     
    The amount of substance contained in a given quantity of the solution or mixture.  (If a food coloring solution has a concentration of 10%, then 100 parts of a solution will contain 10 parts of food coloring).
     
  2. What is the definition of dilution?

    To reduce the concentration by adding water or other liquids.  (the solution in cup 4 of the parts per million activity is more dilute than the solution in cups 1, 2,and 3 because more water has been added)
     
  3. What is the definition of serial dilution?

    Process of adding solvent (usually water) to solute using regular ratios or proportions in order to create a series of dilute solutions.
     
  4. If you have 10% solution of food coloring, how many parts are water and how many parts are food coloring?

    1 part is water, 9 parts are food coloring ~ 1 part + 9 parts =10 or 100%
     

Post Lab Questions

  1. What is the number of the cup in which the solution first appeared colorless?

    To be determined by the class (usually around cup 6)
     
  2. What is the concentration of the solution in this cup?

    1/1,000,000 = 1ppm
     
  3. Do you think there is any food coloring present in this cup even though it is colorless?     Explain.
     
    Answers vary by student
     
  4. Can you think of an experiment you might do with the solutions to see what might be present if the water was removed?  Before trying, get your teacher's permission. Record your results.

    One example is evaporation.  Set the chemplate out for a few days and observe the results.

Parts Per Million - Student Data Table

 

Color

 

Concentration

1

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

Parts Per Million -Data Table: Teacher Key

 

Cup

 

Color

 

Concentration

1

 

Dark red

1/10

   .1

2

 

Cherry red

1/100 

   .01

3

 

Brick red

1/1000

   .001

4

 

Blush

1/10,000

     .0001

5

 

Barely visible pink

1/100,000 

   .00001

6

 

Colorless

1/1,000,000

   .000001

1 ppm

7

 

Colorless

1/10,000,000

   .0000001

8

 

Colorless

1/100,000,000

   .00000001

9

 

Colorless

1/1,000,000,000

     .000000001

1ppb

Parts Per Million -Some Interesting Comparisons

  • One part per million is one second in 12 days of your life!
  • One part per billion is one second in 32 years of your life!
  • One part per million is one penny out of $10,000!
  • One part per billion is one penny out of $10,000,000!
  • One part per million is one pinch of salt on 20 pounds of potato chips!
  • One part per billion is one pinch of salt on 10 tons of potato chips!
  • One part per million is one inch out of a journey of 16 miles!
  • One part per billion is one inch out of a journey of 16,000 miles!
  • One part per trillion is a six inch leap on a journey to the sun!
  • One part per billion is one square foot in 36 square miles!
  • One part per trillion is a postage stamp on an area the size of Texas!
  • One part per million is approximately one bogey in 3,500 golf matches!
  • One part per billion is approximately one bogey in 3,500,000 golf matches!
  • One part per million is approximately one bad apple in 2,000 barrels!
  • One part per billion is approximately one bad apple in 2,000,000 barrels!
  • One part per million is approximately one lob in 1,200 tennis matches!
  • One part per trillion is approximately one error among all the words of all the front page stories in all the issues of more than 2,000 daily newspapers in the United States if their publication had started with the invention of moveable type for the printing press!

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