Measuring mass

Photo showing two kitchen measuring spoons (a tablespoon and a half tablespoon). The tablespoon is 15 mL capacity and when filled level, holds 7.4 grams of activated carbon. The half tablespoon holds 3.7 grams of activated carbonWhile audible kitchen scales are available, these are likely to be impractical for classroom experiments. Audible technology can also contribute to a feeling of ‘otherness’.

Measuring solids can be performed fairly accurately using kitchen measuring spoons. The accuracy will depend on the particle size of what you are measuring and the size of the spoon.

Photo showing a measuring spoon full of activated carbon being smoothed flat with the straight edge of the back of a knife.For example, activated carbon has a large particle size and good reproducibility requires a larger size measuring spoon.

Ensuring students level the tablespoon with a straight edge helps to ensure consistent measurement of solids.

You then need to consider what glassware to use to ensure the solid is not spilled as it is transferred from the spoon.


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