As technology improves, the tools we use in class change, but sometimes students may benefit from using the old tried and true science tools such as the beloved triple beam balance.
Although digital scales make life easier and measure quicker, there are still benefits to using the triple beam balance. Here are 5 ways to continue to use this beloved tool in your classroom.
Digital vs Analog
One way to continue using your balance in your science classroom is to test the accuracy of a digital scale compared to its older counterpart. For the most part, unless you have a very expensive digital scale in your classroom, most triple beam balances will be more accurate than their newer counterpart.
This would be a good science lab activity when students learn about science tools at the beginning of the year.
Mass and the Triple Beam Balance
If you teach students about states of matter, you will likely discuss mass.
Many students do not understand that air has mass. I like to teach students about air and mass by using the triple beam balance.
One of the lab activities used when I teach states of matter has students find the mass of an empty balloon and compare it to a balloon filled with air.
The visual, as well as the measurements, show students that air does have mass.
Understanding Place Value
Another reason to continue using the balance is that it will allow students to better understand place value.
The triple beam balance has beams that need to be read from the middle beam to the top beam to the bottom beam. Therefore, understanding the
- how to add the numbers
- where the decimal point goes
is an important concept to learn during your metric measurement unit.
So while some may debate whether or not to keep the triple beam balances in their classrooms because of improving technology, these reasons might make you rethink dumping them altogether.