Grade 58 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)
Task:
At this station, you will be determining the mass,
volume and density of two (2) mineral samples. Data and calculations
will be recorded precisely and accurately within the limits of
the measurement tools.
Materials:
 metric balance
 graduated cylinder
 overflow cup
 beaker with water
 mineral samples A and B
 calculator
Background:
Minerals are the different materials which make up the various
rocks of the earth. Each mineral has its own set of identifying
properties. Density is one of the properties often used to identify
minerals. Rocks are one or more minerals which have been put together
in different ways. The properties of the rocks, made of the same
minerals, may be different depending on how the rocks were made.
Mineral densities are nearly always the same.
Directions:
1. Record the code number of each mineral sample and find the mass
of each to the nearest tenth of a gram.
A. Code Number ____________ 
Mass _______________ 
B. Code Number ____________ 
Mass _______________ 
2. Record the code number and find the volume of each mineral sample
to the nearest whole cm3 (ml).
A. Code Number 
Volume _____________ 
B. Code Number 
Volume _____________ 
3. In the space below, describe the procedure you used to find
the volume of the minerals.
4. What is the density of the mineral samples? Record you
answers to the nearest tenth place.
A. Code Number ___________ 
Density _____________ 
B. Code Number ___________ 
Density _____________ 
Show your work in the space below.
Mineral sample A Calculations

Mineral sample B Calculations



5. The metamorphic rock Quartzite and a sedimentary rock sandstone
are both made of the mineral quartz that has a density of 2.65 grams/cubic
cm (g/cm3). A geologist determined the density of a sample of quartzite
to have a density of 2.65 grams/cubic cm, and determined the sample
of sandstone to have a density of 2.45 grams/cubic cm.
A. In complete sentences, explain why the sample of quartzite
has a different density from the sample of sandstone.
B. In complete sentences, explain why densities of the quartz
and the sample of quartzite are the same.
