Grade 58 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
NYS Alternative Assessment in Science Project (1996)
"Density of Minerals"  Scoring Rubric
Maximum score  25 points

Task 1. Mass 
6 points total

Standard: The student will determine and record precise
measurements of mass.
Criteria:
 Mass of mineral A
 Allow 2 points if the mass is +/0.2 g.
 Allow 1 point if the mass is +/0.5 g.
 No credit is given if the mass is +/>0.5 g.
 Mass of mineral B
 Allow 2 points if the mass is +/0.2 g.
 Allow 1 point if the mass is +/0.5 g.
 No credit is given if the mass is +/>0.5 g.
 Labeling
 Allow 1 point for labeling both measurements
with units.
 Recording
 Allow 1 point for all data accurately recorded to the
nearest tenth of a gram.
Task 2. Volume 
6 points total

Standard: The student will determine and record precise
measurements of volume using the displacement method.
Criteria:
 Volume of mineral sample A
 Allow 2 points if the mass if +/1 cubic cm
 Allow 1 point if the mass is +/2 cubic cm
 No credit is given if the mass is +/>2 cubic cm
 Volume of mineral B
 Allow 2 points if the mass is +/ 1 cubic cm.
 Allow 1 point if the mass is +/ 2 cubic cm
 No credit is given if the mass is +/>2 cubic cm
 Labeling
 Allow 1 point for labeling both measurements
with units.
 Recording
 Allow 1 point for all the data accurately recorded to
the nearest whole millimeter.
Comment #1 
 The units cubic cm and ml are both acceptable based on the
students' instruction.
Task 3. Volume Procedure 
2 points total

Standard: The student will describe the displacement procedure
for determining volume.
Criteria:
 Allow 2 points for a clear, accurate description of the displacement
method.
 Allow 1 point for a partially accurate or partially unclear
description.
 No credit is given if the answer is unclear, inaccurate, or
not provided.
 Complete sentences are not required to receive credit.
Task 4. Density Calculations 
8 points total

Standard: The student will calculate the density of mineral
samples and show work.
Criteria:
Mineral sample A:
 Substitution
 Allow 1 point for correct substitutions into the equation.
(Units not required.)
 Calculation (See comment 2.)
 Allow 2 points if the density is +/0.2 grams per cubic
cm or grams per ml.
 Allow 1 point if the density is +/0.5 grams per cubic
cm or grams per ml.
 No credit is given if the density is +/>0.5 grams
per cubic cm or grams per ml.
Mineral sample B:
 Substitution
 Allow 1 point for correct substitutions into the equation
(Units not required.)
 Calculation (See comment 2.)
 Allow 2 points if the density is +/0.2 grams per cubic
cm or grams per ml.
 Allow 1 point if the density is +/0.5 grams per cubic
cm or grams per ml.
 No credit is given if the density is +/>0.5 grams
per cubic cm or grams per ml.
Labeling and Recording:
 Labeling
 Allow 1 point if both answers are labeled correctly.
 Recording
 Allow 1 point if both answers are recorded to the nearest
tenth of a gram per cubic cm or gram per ml.
Comment #2. 
 Double jeopardy: The student should not be penalized twice
for the same error. Answers should be consistent with, and based
on, data recorded in earlier parts of the equation.
Task 5. Rock Differences 
3 points total

Standard:
 The students will give a logical, scientifically accurate
explanation for differences or similarities in rock densities.
Criteria:
 Sedimentary rocks are composed of cemented grains and include
pore space or other minerals between the grains. The density
of the sandstone is likely to be lower than the quartzite
because of the inclusion of pore space or less dense minerals
in the sandstone. The metamorphic process which produces the
Quartzite causes a high amount of compaction.
 Allow 2 points for a logical statement in complete sentences.
 Allow 1 point for a logical answer that is not given
in complete sentences.
 No credit for inaccurate answers.
 Both samples are made of the mineral quartz and the density
of quart is 2.65. Quartzite contains very little or no pore
space.
 Allow 1 point for a correct response.
 Allow no points for an incorrect response.
Highest possible score  25 points

"Density of Minerals"  Scoring Form
Student ID ______________
Male or Female (circle one)
Circle the student's score for each question. Add the points for
each question and write the total score at the bottom of the scoring
form.
1. Mass 
+/ > 0.5 g

+/ 0.5 g

+/ 0.2 g

A. Mineral sample A 
0

1

2

B. Mineral sample B 
0

1

2

C. Labeling unit 
0

1


D. Recording measurements to the nearest
tenth 
0

1


2. Volume 
+/ > 2 cubic cm

+/ 2 cubic cm

+/ 1 cubic cm

A. Mineral sample A 
0

1

2

B. Mineral sample B 
0

1

2

C. Labeling units 
0

1


D. Recording measurements to the nearest tenth 
0

1


3. Procedure 
0

1

2

4. Density 



Mineral sample A 



A. Substitution of correct data in the equation 
0

1


B. Correct calculation of density 
0

1

2

Mineral sample B 



A. Substitution of correct data in the equation 
0

1


B. Correct calculation of density 
0

1

2

Labeling and Recording 



A. Labeling units correctly 
0

1


B. Recording measurements to the nearest tenth 
0

1


5. Rock Differences 



A. Sandstone & Quartzite 
0

1

2

B. Density of Quartz & Quartzite 
0

1


TOTAL SCORE _____________
Total possible score  25 points
