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.
Student groups are given a set of materials: cardboard, insulating materials, aluminum foil and Plexiglas, and challenged to build solar ovens. The ovens must collect and store as much of the sun's energy as possible. Students experiment with heat transfer through conduction by how well the oven is insulated and radiation by how well it absorbs solar radiation. They test the effectiveness of their designs qualitatively by baking something and quantitatively by taking periodic temperature measurements and plotting temperature vs. time graphs. To conclude, students think like engineers and analyze the solar oven's strengths and weaknesses compared to conventional ovens.
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.