They will select their topic, explore the criteria for planning, and design a compelling and realistic experiment based on their topic.

This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.

By measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to stable carbon-12, scientists can then determine when the organism in question died.

When Libby developed the radiocarbon dating technique, he validated the method by comparing measured carbon ratios (carbon-14/carbon-12) from artifacts of known age with predictions of the ratio expected by assuming the decay rate.

The same applies to marine organisms, although with some well-understood subtleties.

resources to learn about planning projects when they create a science fair exhibit.

They all start with similar flaws, but Carbon-14 has more than the rest.

The Carbon-14 “dating” method was introduced by Dr. Libby (1908-1980) at the University of Chicago in 1949. Carbon-12 is the normal stable isotope of Carbon (99% of all Carbon), which is the basic building block of organic life forms.

The concept behind radiocarbon dating is rather simple.

While organisms live, they incorporate radioactive carbon-14 from the atmosphere.