Online Lab Submission
Students: Instructors: Virtual Labs: Pre-Lab Assignments
Interactive Animations:

Scientific Method - The Penny Lab

The scientific method is demonstrated by exploring the change in mass of pennies over time.  Not unexpectantly, just like normal scientific investigation, the first question leads to a second question and a third question.  In the end, young scientists discover that pennies exist as "isotopes" and use the fractions and masses of pennies to verify the isotope equation. 

FractionP1 × MassP1 + FractionP2 × MassP2 = Average Mass in Sample

The first scientific method animation investigates dependence of the change in mass of a penny on year minted. The second animation explores the metallic composition of the penny and similarities between the Penny "isotopes" and atomic isotopes. Follow the directions below to work through both animations:

  • Click the Procedure arrow and follow the directions.
  • The Lab Report provides a place to record lab data and to enter the final calculations.
  • If any of the calculations are incorrect, the correct answer(s) will be displayed for you.
  • When all calculations are correct, a Lab Complete message appears.
  • If required by your instructor, take a screenshot of the completed lab showing the Lab Complete message :
    • Open the Snipping Tool (click on the Start button and type Snip & Sketch in the search box). For MAC OS press Command-Shift-F4 (screenshot) or use the Grab feature located in Applications → Utilities folder.
    • For the Snip & Sketch, click the New button and click / drag a rectangle around the animation - don't include extra white space.
    • Print the 'snip' to give to your instructor, or save it to your computer and send it as an email attachment to your instructor.

The Dependence Of A Penny's Mass On The Year Minted

The Composition Of A Penny - Two Isotopes Of Penny