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How Much Water Is in a Fruit?

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Session 1

After each group has measured the total volume of its orange, have students use a serrated plastic knife to cut their oranges in half. Each group should use its juicer (either commercial or homemade) to squeeze the juice from its orange. Students may use a 250-mL beaker or plastic cup calibrated in milliliters to measure the juice obtained from their orange. Make sure students save the remains of their oranges. 

Ask students, How can the remaining material be measured? If they suggest weighing, have them consider the conversions that might be necessary to compare this weight information with their earlier measurements in mL. Have students place the remaining orange pieces into the beaker or plastic cup containing 800 mL of water, and then note the new volume. 

Ask, Do the remains of the orange displace a different amount of water than the entire orange displaced? Why? What was the volume of the entire orange? What is the volume of the remaining "stuff"? What is the volume of water in the orange? Students should record their observations and the values obtained on their student sheets.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Numbers: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932

Houston Endowment Inc.

Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education