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Lab:  Sandy Day


If you have ever looked closely at a sandy beach you may have noticed that it contains a mixture of many different textures and colors.  In this lab you will be examining the physical properties of the materials found in a sample of sand.  Some examples of physical properties that you may be examining include:


1.                 luster

2.                 texture (powdery, crystalline, course, fine)

3.                 density (less than 1 or greater than one)

4.                 magnetically attracted

5.                 soluble


In this lab you develop a hypothesis regarding some of the physical and chemical properties of the possible materials found in your sample.  Next you will design an experiment (using available equipment) to determine the types of items found in your mixture of sand.


              Hint:  Test 1 variable at a time in a manner that removes the item completely from the sample


Materials (sand):  Baking Soda, Salt, Charcoal, Iron filings, Silica



1.     Make a chart that includes the possible items found in the sand and the possible physical properties that could pertain to them.









To acid








































2.     Write down a procedure designed to test your sample for the possible materials.

a.      Be sure to include a materials list of equipment to be used.

b.     Your list should include specific steps that could be followed like a recipe.

c.     Hint: water soluble items should be tested last and can be recovered via evaporation




3.     Make a chart to record the results of your findings.

Sample Letter:__________

Items Found





















4.     Have your instructor evaluate your procedure for approval to receive your sample.  Before you see the instructor you should have:

a.      Identified the problem

b.     Listed background information of the materials

c.     Developed and written down specific steps toward solving the problem



After you have successfully separated the mixture, return the separated items to the appropriate containers and clean your lab space.





Last modified: September 11, 2003