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In this series of lessons students learn the basic principles used to determine the age of rocks and fossils by using half-life in radioactive decay and stratigraphy.
One to two class periods.
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.
- Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence. (P6, NOS2)
- Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.
- Scientists use physical, chemical, and geological evidence to establish the age of fossils.
- Radiometric dating can often be used to determine the age of rock layers and, hence, the fossils embedded in them.