Brittle Bones: A Density Problem


How does low bone density increase the risk for bone fractures?

Three generations of a family learn how osteoporosis (low bone density) results in bones that are brittle and easily broken.

  • Design and assemble models of bones to represent bone densities at different ages.
  • Determine the density of each of the bone models.
  • Use the models along with graphs and data from research studies to correlate bone density with osteoporosis and bone fracture risk.
Assembled kits
Materials to assemble 10 kits - includes all supplies, printed labels, and student instructions copy master

Kit Includes

  • White disks
  • White star beads
  • Ruler
  • 4 labeled plastic tubes with caps
  • “A Future Osteoporosis Epidemic?”
  • “Understanding Osteoporosis”
  • “Forty 70-Year-Old Women Who Participated in Research Study”
  • “Women Who Had Bone Fractures”

Quantity Discounts


  • 1 – 9 kits: $18.95 each
  • 10 – 24 kits: $18.00 each
  • 25+ kits: $17.06 each


  • 1 – 9 packs: $154.95 each
  • 10+ packs: $147.20 each


  • This kit does not require refills since all its contents are reusable.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Shop by NGSS »

Performance Expectations:

MS-PS1-1. Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.

  • Science & Engineering Practices

    Developing and Using Models - Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.

  • Disciplinary Core Ideas

    PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter - Chemical composition, temperature, and pressure affect such arrangements and motions of atoms, as well as the ways in which they interact. Under a given set of conditions, the state and some properties (e.g., density, elasticity, viscosity) are the same for different bulk quantities of a substance

  • Crosscutting Concepts

    Structure and Function - Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the shapes, composition, and relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function.