In this Activity, students predict whether a given bowling ball will float or sink in tap water. Students design a procedure to collect radius and weight measurements to calculate the density of their ball. They then test their prediction by placing the ball in a large container of water, which yields the surprising observation that some bowling balls do float. Students gain practice in measurement techniques as well as calculations involving unit conversions and geometric formulae. This Activity could be used in curriculum units dealing with measurement, unit conversions, significant figures, or physical properties of matter such as density.
Kathleen Holley, Diana Mason, and Kirk Hunter, J. Chem. Educ. 2004, 81, p1312A.