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Daughter isotopes are represented by the M side down (stable).
Students begin by pouring the 100 M&Ms on the table, and set aside the "stable" isotopes (M side down).
Each radioactive isotope will have its own unique half-life that is independent of any of these factors.
The half-lives of many radioactive isotopes have been determined and they have been found to range from extremely long half-lives of 10 billion years to extremely short half-lives of fractions of a second.
This radioactive isotope of carbon is present in the atmosphere in trace amounts, and in chemical processes is indistinguishable from normal carbon 12.Once all groups finish, each group records their info on the class decay table (on the board) and we calculate the averages of the class. Isotope Concepts: Students should begin to see the pattern that each time they dump out their M&Ms, about half become stable.Once this info is calculated, students create a graph comparing the class average of parent isotopes to the number of half-lives. Students will be able to explain what a half-life of a rock is. Students will have a more in-depth understanding of what radioactive decay is. Students will understand how scientists use half-lives to date the age of rocks. Students then should be able to see the connection of the M&Ms and radioactive elements in rocks, and how scientists can determine the age of rocks by looking at the amount of radioactive material in the rock.They then gather the radioactive, or M side up M&Ms, put them back in the container, and then pour them out again. and continue this process until all M&Ms are stable, or M side down.During each trial, students record the number of radioactive parent isotopes and record this in a data table.