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To introduce the idea of radioactive decay and carbon dating, I play a video clip from Nova "Hunting the Elements". As the video comes to an end, I pose the question, "Why is Carbon useful to determine the age of organic remains? I tell the students that they will now become archaeologists as they play with the PhET simulation " Radioactive Dating Game ". I ask the students to divide themselves into partners, and request that one partner to get a computer, while the second partner gets the record sheet they will use. Although students could work through the simulation individually, I prefer partnerwork to foster discussion among students, encouraging scientific discourse SP7.
Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Radiometric dating frequently finds its way into an earth science and chemistry curriculum, but it's often part of other courses, too, like a dedicated geology or even paleontology course. No matter the age of the students you're teaching, you can help them understand this complex concept by introducing it with fun, hands-on activities and games. The ideas that follow can be adjusted and modified to fit the needs of your students.
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