Many science classes start with a review of devices. Students memorize the names of laboratory glassware and their attributes but hardly ever identify accuracy or relate glassware accuracy to feature. In this task, students employ thickness calculations to develop the accuracy of a number of common pieces of laboratory glassware and make a insurance claim relating the accuracy of a item of glassware to its designated objective. Accuracy is defined as how close a measurement is to the true or standard value. Students compare accuracy values for different pieces of glassware making use of percent error calculations and usage percent error as proof for justifying a claim relating glassware accuracy to usage.

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Grade & Discipline



Life Science, Physical Science, Planet Science. Recommfinished for qualities 6-8.

Time Requirements

Prep15 min
Activity30-45 min

Teacher Prep time: 15 minStudent time: 30-45 min

Safety Requirements
Safety Goggles Required
Reference Kits
slrfc.org® Summary to Density Kit
Material List
Erlenmeyer Flask
Graduated cylinder
Volumetric Flask
Electronic Balance
Container of room temperature tap water
*Glassware might be of any kind of size, giving the mass of the glassware plus water does not exceed the limits of the balance. The volume of the volumetric flask will recognize the volume of water provided for all pieces of glassware, so group the glassware accordingly.
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Infographic: Laboratory Glassware Basics
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View All NGSS Activities


Many scientific research classes start with an introduction of devices. Students memorize the names of laboratory glassware and also their functions but seldom determine accuracy or relate glassware accuracy to attribute. In this activity, students employ thickness calculations to create the accuracy of numerous common pieces of laboratory glassware and make a claim relating the accuracy of a piece of glassware to its designated objective. Accuracy is characterized as exactly how cshed a measurement is to the true or standard value. Students compare accuracy values for different pieces of glassware using percent error calculations and usage percent error as evidence for justifying a claim relating glassware accuracy to usage.

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Teacher Notes
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Student Worksheet


Students might have seen wet (or liquid) and dry measuring cups in the kitchen and wondered if a wet cup is equal in volume to a dry cup. This quick demonstration is a straightforward segue right into the principle of laboratory glassware accuracy. Obtain dry and liquid kitchen measuring cups. The volume of the dry cup does not issue. Fill the dry cup via water, and also then pour the water right into the liquid measuring cup. Ask students to observe. Repeat the demonstration through a dry substance—flour, sugar, rice, and also small beans are good examples. Ask students to make a insurance claim about the accuracy of the measuring cups.

Essential Question

How does the accuracy of a item of glassware assist determine its use?

Activity Objectives

Determine the percent error in volume for numerous pieces of laboratory glassware.Make a claim about the acceptable laboratory use of each item of glassware based upon accuracy.

Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS)

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze information from tests to recognize similarities and distinctions among a number of style options to recognize the best characteristics of each that can be merged into a newsolution to better meet the criteria for success.

Science and also Engineering Practices

Planning and Carrying Out InvestigationsUsing Mathematics and also Computational Thinking

Disciplinary Core Ideas

ETS1.B: Defining and also Delimiting Engineering ProblemsThere are methodical processes for evaluating services through respect to just how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.

Crosscutting Concepts

Structure and FunctionInvestigating or making new units or frameworks calls for a in-depth examination of the properties of various materials, the structures of different components, and relationships of components to reveal its attribute and/or settle a trouble.

Safety Procedures and also Precautions

Remind students to be mindful of wbelow they area glassware. Have a broom, dust pan, and also a container for damaged glassware accessible. Remind students not to pick up damaged glass through their hands.

Teacher Preparation and also Disposal

Group glassware before the activity. Make certain the volume of water the volumetric flask holds will certainly fall in between the graduations on the other pieces of glassware. No chemical or waste disposal is important. Dispose of any kind of damaged glass in the appropriate container.

StudentA. Visual Inspection
Student: Weigh each piece of glassware and record the mass in table B.
Teacher: Remind students how to review volume-level surface, eye-level, from the bottom of the meniscus.
As a group, begin via the volumetric flask. Record the volume printed on the flask then fill the flask through tap water so the meniscus sits on the etched line.
Water from the volumetric flask must be poured into each piece of glassware.
Pour the water into an additional piece of glassware and also record the volume on that item of glassware. Estimate the volume if needed.
Eextremely individual student should take dimensions from all pieces of glassware.
Repeat step 2 for the continuing to be pieces of glassware.
The volume of the volumetric flask determines the volume being provided in all pieces of glassware.
B. Glassware Accuracy Using Density Calculations
Each group member need to collect data on eincredibly piece of glassware.
Rewatch through students that temperature is instrumental when functioning through thickness. Higher temperature generally suggests a greater volume, which decreases density.
Record the worth on the volumetric flask. You will certainly add water to that note on each piece of glassware. _____________mL
Mass of water = (mass of water + flask) – mass of flask or mass2 – mass1
Add water until the volume recorded in action 2 is current in the piece of glassware being tested. Use the graduations on the glassware. Do not pour water from 1 item of glassware to another.
Record the temperature of the water.
Weigh the glassware through the water and also record the value.
Repeat actions 3 to 6 for the various other 3 pieces of glassware.
Calculate the mass of water in each piece of glassware.
Calculate the group average for the mass of water in each item of glassware and temperature.

Documents and also Observations

Student answers will vary.

A. Visual Inspection

GlasswareVolume (mL)
Volumetric flask100.0
Graduated cylinder102.0
Erlenmeyer flask93.0

B. Glassware Accuracy Using Density Calculations

GlasswareEmpty Mass (g)Volume of Water (mL)Mass of Glassware with Water (g)Mass of Water Only (g)Water Temperature (C)
Volumetric flask65.1100.0164.999.820.0
Graduated cylinder106.5100.0203.997.420.0
Erlenmeyer flask111.5100.0191.879.520.0

Group Averages

GlasswareTheoretical Volume of Water (mL)Median Mass of Water (g)Mean Water Temperature (C)
Volumetric flask100.099.520.0
Graduated cylinder100.097.620.0
Erlenmeyer flask100.082.520.0

Analysis & Discussion

Based on the information accumulated, rank the 4 pieces of glassware from a lot of exact to leastern accurate. Exordinary your thinking.

Student answers will vary, yet they need to alert greater accuracy for the volumetric flask and also graduated cylinder.

Using individual data and the thickness of water table, calculate the actual volume of water in each item of glassware.

Density = mass/volume

Density of Water by TemperatureTemperature (C)Density (g/mL)

(Handbook of Chemistry and also Physics, 5third Edition)

Average the individual actual quantities for each item of glassware and also area the worths in the table.

GlasswareMean Actual Volume of Water (mL)Theorectical Volume of Water (mL)Percent Error
Volumetric flask99.7100.00.3%
Graduated cylinder97.8100.02.2%
Erlenmeyer flask82.7100.017.4%

Calculate the percent error for each piece of glassware and document the values.


Based on percent error only, rank the glassware from many precise to leastern specific. Use your information to define your ranking.

Volumetric flask, graduated cylinder, beaker, flask

The volumetric flask had actually the lowest percent error (0.3%), so it is the most specific. The graduated cylinder and beaker were similar in percent error (2.2% and also 3.5% respectively). Both were little, so they are reasonably precise. The flask had actually the highest possible percent error (17.4%), so it is the least accurate.

How carry out the 2 approaches of determining accuracy compare? Were the outcomes the very same or different?

The ranqueens were the exact same. The first approach gave a less precise ranking of glassware because the volume of water had to be estimated for eextremely item of glassware but the volumetric flask. The second technique was even more precise bereason volume was calculated utilizing thickness, the temperature of water, and a digital balance.

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Based on accuracy, assign each piece of glassware proper uses and also state proof for your alternative. For example, which pieces need to be provided for measurement, and also which need to not be offered for measurement?

The volumetric flask is the most specific, yet it only procedures 1 volume—in this situation, 100mL. If you need to meacertain various other quantities besides those on volumetric flasks, then the graduated cylinder is the finest tool. The beaker is pretty precise, and you can quickly stir and also heat chemicals in it. I would not use a flask to measure volume offered the huge percent error. If volume only had actually to be approximated, a flask would be OK. It is likewise excellent for mixing and also heating.