The Life and Science of Percy Julian
Activities and Readings
7A.3 (Thought Experiment)

Separating Plastic and Metal Beads

Imagine (sorry, no photos this time!) you have a mixture of plastic and solid metal beads of the same size in a container. How would you separate such a mixture? Here’s the challenge: You cannot pick them apart.

Hint: What do you think would happen if you added water to the container?

Hint: What do you think would happen if you brought a magnet near the mixture?

Based on this thought experiment and the previous two (Separating Marbles and Separating Coins), can you think of a general “rule” that you could use to tell someone how to separate ANY mixture? What is your “rule”?

Return to the Main Story

Return to the Main Story
Meanwhile, In the Rest of the World...