Education Technology

Treasure Trove

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' use a Dual Range Force Sensor to measure the weight of pennies. They understand the difference between mass and weight. Students also determine the difference in weight of an object on the moon, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the TI-73 to the CBL™ unit
  • Connect the Dual Force Sensor in channel 1 of the CBL 2 and download DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 187-194 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

  • Complete the Hypothesis section on the Data Collection and Analysis page and predict where one can lift the most pennies


  • Follow the Activity procedures:
  • Make a scale with the help of a styrofoam cup and string, and attach the Dual force sensor to it
  • Take the force reading of an empty styrofoam cup
  • Add 10 pennies to the styrofoam cup scale and take force reading in Newtons
  • Add batches of 10 pennies and measure the force for each batch
  • Take a final force reading for 100 pennies
  • Graph data and determine a linear equation that fits the data
  • Use the gravity conversion factor and calculate how much the pennies weigh on the moon, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary