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Web-based Practice

Density by PhET

Course, Subject

Biology/Living Environment, Chemistry, Physics, Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade


This simulation will allow students to create a custom object to explore the effects of mass and volume on density, use the scale to measure the mass of an object, then hold the object under water to measure its volume. Students might explore the following questions:

  • Why do objects like wood float in water?
  • Does it depend on size?
  • Can you discover the relationship?
  • Can you identify all the mystery objects?

Using the simulation, students will:

  • Describe how the concept of density relates to an object's mass and volume.
  • Explain how objects of similar mass can have differing volume, and how objects of similar volume can have differing mass.
  • Explain why changing an object's mass or volume does not affect its density (ie, understand density as an intensive property).
  • Measure the volume of an object by observing the amount of fluid it displaces.
  • Identify an unknown material by calculating its density and comparing to a table of known densities.


PhET Interactive Simulations

Content Provider

Physics Education Technology
The Physics Education Technology (PhET) project at the University of Colorado produces fun, interactive simulations of physical phenomena that make bridges to the real world.


Click on the link below to view the simulation:


Click here to view the download requirements for this website.

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