Students learn how forces are used in the creation of art. They come to understand that it is not just bridge and airplane designers who are concerned about how forces interact with objects, but artists as well. As "paper engineers," students create their own mobiles and pop-up books, and identify and use the forces (air currents, gravity, hand movement) acting upon them.
With the help of simple, teacher-led demonstration activities, students learn the basic concepts of heat transfer by means of conduction, convection, and radiation. Students then apply these concepts as they work in teams to solve two problems. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same thirty-minute time interval. Students design their solutions using only common, everyday materials. They record the water temperatures in their two soda cans every five minutes, and prepare line graphs in order to visually compare their results to the temperature of an unaltered control can of water.
In this activity, learners make their own heat waves in an aquarium. Warmer water rising through cooler water creates turbulence effects that bend light, allowing you to project swirling shadows onto a screen. Use this demonstration to show convection currents in water as well as light refraction in a simple, visually appealing way.
Students learn about using renewable energy from the Sun for heating and cooking as they build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. They explore the concepts of insulation, reflection, absorption, conduction and convection.
The author explains heat transfer and how it applies to living in extremely cold environments.
- Environmental Science
- Material Type:
- Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology
- Provider Set:
- Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: An Online Magazine for K-5 Teachers
- Stephanie Chasteen
- Date Added:
Students learn and apply concepts in thermodynamics and energy—mainly convection, conduction, and radiation— to solve a challenge. This is accomplished by splitting students into teams and having them follow the engineering design process to design and build a small insulated box, with the goal of keeping an ice cube and a Popsicle from melting. Students are given a short traditional lecture to help familiarize them with the basic rules of thermodynamics and an introduction to materials science while they continue to monitor the ice within their team’s box.
Explore the concept of evaporative cooling through a hands-on experiment. Use a wet cloth and fan to model an air-conditioner and use temperature and relative humidity sensors to collect data. Then digitally plot the data using graphs in the activity. In an optional extension, make your own modifications to improve the cooler's efficiency.
Through a teacher demonstration using water, heat and food coloring, students see how convection moves the energy of the Sun from its core outwards. Students learn about the three different modes of heat transfer (convection, conduction, radiation) and how they are related to the Sun and life on our planet.
Students explore heat transfer and energy efficiency using the context of energy efficient houses. They gain a solid understanding of the three types of heat transfer: radiation, convection and conduction, which are explained in detail and related to the real world. They learn about the many ways solar energy is used as a renewable energy source to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and operating costs. Students also explore ways in which a device can capitalize on the methods of heat transfer to produce a beneficial result. They are given the tools to calculate the heat transferred between a system and its surroundings.
Heat transfer is an important concept that is a part of everyday life yet often misunderstood by students. In this lesson, students learn the scientific concepts of temperature, heat and the transfer of heat through conduction, convection and radiation. These scientific concepts are illustrated by comparison to magical spells used in the Harry Potter stories.
Students apply the concepts of conduction, convection and radiation as they work in teams to solve two challenges. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately human body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same 30-minute time period. Students design their engineering solutions using only common everyday materials, and test their devices by recording the water temperatures in their two soda cans every five minutes.
Students learn about the nature of thermal energy, temperature and how materials store thermal energy. They discuss the difference between conduction, convection and radiation of thermal energy, and complete activities in which they investigate the difference between temperature, thermal energy and the heat capacity of different materials. Students also learn how some engineering requires an understanding of thermal energy.
Students test the insulation properties of different materials by timing how long it takes ice cubes to melt in the presence of various insulating materials. Students learn about the role that thermal insulation materials can play in reducing heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation, as well as the design and implementation of insulating materials in construction and engineering.
Student teams design insulated beverage bottles with the challenge to test them to determine which materials (and material thicknesses) work best at insulating hot water to keep it warm for as long as possible. Students test and compare their designs in still air and under a stream of moving air from a house fan.
With the assistance of a few teacher demonstrations (online animation, using a radiometer and rubbing hands), students review the concept of heat transfer through convection, conduction and radiation. Then they apply an understanding of these ideas as they use wireless temperature probes to investigate the heating capacity of different materials sand and water under heat lamps (or outside in full sunshine). The experiment models how radiant energy drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, thus producing winds and weather conditions, while giving students the hands-on opportunity to understand the value of remote-sensing capabilities designed by engineers. Students collect and record temperature data on how fast sand and water heat and cool. Then they create multi-line graphs to display and compare their data, and discuss the need for efficient and reliable engineer-designed tools like wireless sensors in real-world applications.
Students learn how the sun can be used for energy. They learn about passive solar heating, lighting and cooking, and active solar engineering technologies (such as photovoltaic arrays and concentrating mirrors) that generate electricity. Students investigate the thermal energy storage capacities of test materials. They learn about radiation and convection as they build a model solar water heater and determine how much it can heat water in a given amount of time. In another activity, students build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. In an associated literacy activity, students investigate how people live "off the grid" using solar power.
The application of engineering principles is explored in the creation of mobiles. As students create their own mobiles, they take into consideration the forces of gravity and convection air currents. They learn how an understanding of balancing forces is important in both art and engineering design.
Students learn about the advantages and disadvantages of the greenhouse effect. They construct their own miniature greenhouses and explore how their designs take advantage of heat transfer processes to create controlled environments. They record and graph measurements, comparing the greenhouse indoor and outdoor temperatures over time. Students are also introduced to global issues such as greenhouse gas emissions and their relationship to global warming.
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the students to the Sun. They explore various aspects of the Sun including its composition, its interior workings, and its relationship to the Earth.
Oceans play a significant role in determining and moderating the effects of energy imbalances. Students will begin this lesson by working with temperature data to reinforce the importance of protocols, practice computing statistical measures of data and interpreting their significance. The lesson continues with investigations into daily and annual energy cycles. Using a sea surface environment visualizer, students then identify patterns of sea surface current and temperature data. Note that this is lesson five of five on the Ocean Motion website. Each lesson investigates ocean surface circulation using satellite and model data and can be done independently. See Related URL's for links to the Ocean Motion Website that provide science background information, data resources, teacher material, student guides and a lesson matrix.
In this activity, students observe fluid motion and the formation of convection cells as a solution of soap and water is heated. This procedure can be performed as a demonstration by the teacher, or older students can conduct the experiment themselves. A list of materials, instructions, and a description of the convective process are included.
The distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes around the world confirmed the theory of plate tectonics first proposed by Wegener. These phenomena also help categorize plate boundaries into three different types: convergent, divergent, and transform.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the types of renewable energy resources. They are involved in activities to help them understand the transformation of energy (solar, water and wind) into electricity. Students explore the different roles of engineers working in renewable energy fields.
Clouds serve as a theme in a series of linked introductory explorations in math, language arts, and science. After participating in a demonstration of cloud formation, students are directed to create an acrostic poem (a poem that uses the letters in a word to start each line of the poem) and peer review and edit each other's work. The class collects atmospheric temperature and cloud cover data over a period of days and then construct graphs to assist in analysis. This lesson is supported by observation protocols, teacher resources, and a glossary of scientific terms. This activity is related to the NASA CERES Students Cloud Observations Online (S'COOL) project.
In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of remote sensing. In the course of this experiment, students will investigate heat conduction on two surfaces and understand the application of these techniques to spacecraft investigations of surfaces in the solar system. Materials required for the outdoor demonstration include a cement step, sand, laboratory thermometers, foam rubber, and a meter stick. An optional indoor experimental set up uses twin desk lamps with equal-wattage tungsten bulbs and an infrared thermometer. A student datasheet accompanies the activity. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications.
In Save the Penguins, the broad context is global climate change. Students learn that the energy we use to heat and cool our houses comes from power plants, most of which use fossil fuels to convert chemical energy to electrical energy. The burning of fossil fuels has been linked to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn has been linked to increases in global temperature. This change in temperature has widespread effects upon life on Earth. Penguins live in the southern hemisphere, primarily on the icy continent of Antarctica. As the Earth warms and ice melts, penguins lose habitat. Therefore, students see that better-designed houses that use less energy for heating and cooling can have an effect on penguins. Energy efficient houses that
minimize unnecessary heat transfer will draw less electricity from the fossil fuel burning power plants and not contribute as much to global climate change.
Students explore energy efficiency, focusing on renewable energy, by designing and building flat-plate solar water heaters. They apply their understanding of the three forms of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation), as well as how they relate to energy efficiency. They calculate the efficiency of the solar water heaters during initial and final tests and compare the efficiencies to those of models currently sold on the market (requiring some additional investigation by students). After comparing efficiencies, students explain how they would further improve their devices. Students learn about the trade-offs between efficiency and cost by calculating the total cost of their devices and evaluating cost per percent efficiency and per degree change of the water.
This lesson introduces students to the space environment. It covers the major differences between the environment on Earth and that of outer space and the engineering challenges that arise because of these discrepancies. In order to prepare students for the upcoming lessons on the human body, this lesson challenges them to think about how their bodies would change and adapt in the unique environment of space.
Students learn about providing healthcare in a global setting and the importance of wearing protective equipment when treating patients with infectious diseases like Ebola. They learn about biohazard suits, heat transfer through conduction and convection and the engineering design cycle. Student teams design, create and test (and improve) their own Ebola biohazard suit prototypes that cover one arm and hand, including a ventilation system to cool the inside of the suit.
Using a household fan, cardboard box and paper towels, student teams design and build their own evaporative cooler prototype devices. They learn about the process that cools water during the evaporation of water. They make calculations to determine a room's cooling load, and thus determine the swamp cooler size. This activity adds to students' understanding of the behind-the-scenes mechanical devices that condition and move air within homes and buildings for human health and comfort.
In this experiment, students create a "lava lamp" - a beaker on a hotplate, and investigate buoyancy, convection and other fluid and thermodynamic properties using ink, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The activity is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications.
Students are introduced to various types of energy with a focus on thermal energy and types of heat transfer as they are challenged to design a better travel thermos that is cost efficient, aesthetically pleasing and meets the design objective of keeping liquids hot. They base their design decisions on material properties such thermal conductivity, cost and function. These engineering and science concepts are paired with student experiences to build an understanding of heat transfer as it plays a role in their day-to-day lives. While this introduction only shows the top-level concepts surrounding the mathematics associated with heat transfer; the skills become immediately useful as students apply what they know to solve an engineering challenge.
Students learn about tornadoes - their basic characteristics, damage and occurrence. Students are introduced to the ways that engineers consider strong winds, specifically tornadoes, in their design of structures. Also, students learn how tornadoes are rated, and learn some basics of tornado safety.
This lesson applies the science and math of the rotation of a sphere to water and wind movements on Earth. Students are introduced to convection, the Trade Winds and the Coriolis Force. Using an online visualizer, students generate trajectories and then analyze course patterns and latitudinal changes in strength. Note that this is lesson two of five on the Ocean Motion website. Each lesson investigates ocean surface circulation using satellite and model data and can be done independently. See Related URL's for links to the Ocean Motion Website that provide science background information, data resources, teacher material, student guides and a lesson matrix.
Students develop their understanding of air convection currents and temperature inversions by constructing and observing simple models.
In this lesson, students will first discuss where energy comes from, including sources such as fossil fuels, nuclear, and such renewable technologies as solar. After this initial exploration, students will investigate the three main types of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation. Students will learn how properties describe the ways different materials behave, for instance whether they are insulators or conductors. Students will complete a crossword puzzle to reinforce their vocabulary in this content area. The class will then focus on the acquisition and storage of energy through the design, construction, and testing of a fully functional solar oven.
Students learn about the definition of heat as a form of energy and how it exists in everyday life. They learn about the three types of heat transfer conduction, convection and radiation as well as the connection between heat and insulation. Their learning is aided by teacher-led class demonstrations on thermal energy and conduction. A PowerPoint® presentation and quiz are provided. This prepares students for the associated activity in which they experiment with and measure what they learned in the lesson by designing and testing insulated bottles.
With the help of simple, teacher-led demonstration activities, students learn the basic physics of heat transfer by means of conduction, convection, and radiation. They also learn about examples of heating and cooling devices, from stove tops to car radiators, that they encounter everyday in their homes, schools, and modes of transportation. Since in our everyday lives there are many times that we want to prevent heat transfer, students also consider ways that conduction, convection, and radiation can be reduced or prevented from occurring.
To explore different ways of using solar energy, students build a model solar water heater and determine how much it can heat water in a given amount of time. Solar water heaters work by solar radiation and convection.