M&Ms™ were shaken in a bag, poured out on the table, and then removed to the decayed pile if they did not show their “m” label.As parent element M&Ms™ were removed through radiometric decay, daughter element marshmallows replaced them.
The chances that a single atom of uranium -238 will decay during a one minute period are indeed very low.
Students reported that their knowledge was enhanced and their misconceptions were addressed.
Some commented specifically that food made the activity more accessible on a sensory level. 131© Copyright 2010 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved.
The unit began with an introductory lesson on radioactive isotopes, followed by two days of hands-on small group activities that developed critical thinking, math and graph making/interpretation skills.
First, students visualized the concepts of radioactive decay and half-life in an activity using M&Ms™ and marshmallows.