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Students learn that fats found in the foods we eat are not all the same; they discover that physical properties of materials are related to their chemical structures. Provided with several samples of commonly used fats with different chemical properties (olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening, animal fat and butter), student groups build and use simple LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots with temperature and light sensors to determine the melting points of the fat samples. Because of their different chemical structures, these fats exhibit different physical properties, such as melting point and color. This activity uses the fact that fats are opaque when solid and translucent when liquid to determine the melting point of each sample upon being heated. Students heat the samples, and use the robot to determine when samples are melted. They analyze plots of their collected data to compare melting points of the oil samples to look for trends. Discrepancies are correlated to differences in the chemical structure and composition of the fats.
In this interactive activity, students view six models to investigate what a gas, liquid, and solid look like at the atomic level. Choose to view a gas or liquid made of atoms only, a gas made of diatomic molecules, a liquid made of triatomic molecules, or two types of solids. In each simulation, users may highlight an atom and view its trajectory to see how the motion differs in each of the three primary phases. Don't miss the extension activity: a side-by-side comparison of the atomic structure of a hot liquid and a cold liquid. If you click "Withdraw the Barrier", the two liquids mix. Which state of matter has stronger attractions between atoms? This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.
Diffusion is the net movement of particles from areas of high concentration (number of particles per unit area) to low concentration. In this activity, students use a molecular dynamics model to view the behavior of diffusion in gases and liquids.
Students are introduced to the important concept of density with a focus is on the more easily understood densities of solids. Students use different methods to determine the densities of solid objects, including water displacement to determine volumes of irregularly-shaped objects. By comparing densities of various solids to the density of water, and by considering the behavior of different solids when placed in water, students conclude that ordinarily, objects with densities greater than water sink, while those with densities less than water float. Then they explore the principle of buoyancy, and through further experimentation arrive at Archimedes' principle that a floating object displaces a mass of water equal to its own mass. Students may be surprised to discover that a floating object displaces more water than a sinking object of the same volume.
This lesson introduces students to the important concept of density. The focus is on the more easily understood densities of solids, but students can also explore the densities of liquids and gases. Students devise methods to determine the densities of solid objects, including the method of water displacement to determine volumes of irregularly-shaped objects. By comparing densities of various solids to the density of water, and by considering the behavior of different solids when placed in water, students conclude that ordinarily, objects with densities greater than water will sink, while those with densities less than water will float. Density is an important material property for engineers to understand.
The Hot Balloon game lets you control the altitude of the balloon through heating the balloon or releasing air from the air flaps. Hot air rises the balloon through a force called buoyancy. The difference between the outside and the inside air determines the amount of buoyancy. Using weight difference, wind speeds and limited fuel the balloon can go on the farthest rides.
Driving Question: How can we as 7th grade math students use surface area to make a mug that retains heat for the longest amount of time possible?
Monitor the temperature of a melting ice cube and use temperature probes to electronically plot the data on graphs. Investigate what temperature the ice is as it melts in addition to monitoring the temperature of liquid the ice is submerged in.
Using the mission to land a human on the Martian surface as context, students will use knowledge about energy and molecular motion to build and test a simplified heat shield.
Students come to see the exponential trend demonstrated through the changing temperatures measured while heating and cooling a beaker of water. This task is accomplished by first appealing to students' real-life heating and cooling experiences, and by showing an example exponential curve. After reviewing the basic principles of heat transfer, students make predictions about the heating and cooling curves of a beaker of tepid water in different environments. During a simple teacher demonstration/experiment, students gather temperature data while a beaker of tepid water cools in an ice water bath, and while it heats up in a hot water bath. They plot the data to create heating and cooling curves, which are recognized as having exponential trends, verifying Newton's result that the change in a sample's temperature is proportional to the difference between the sample's temperature and the temperature of the environment around it. Students apply and explore how their new knowledge may be applied to real-world engineering applications.
How does energy flow in and out of our atmosphere? Explore how solar and infrared radiation enters and exits the atmosphere with an interactive model. Control the amounts of carbon dioxide and clouds present in the model and learn how these factors can influence global temperature. Record results using snapshots of the model in the virtual lab notebook where you can annotate your observations.
Nanotechnology is an innovation with big potential even though it’s small in size. So small, it can’t be seen with the human eye or even your school’s microscope. In 1981, the Scanning Tunneling Microscope was invented and launched the age of nanotechnology. It can see individual atoms and even move them to create advanced nanostructures. Through an interview with Joseph Stroscio at the National Institute for Standards and Technology, students will learn about moving atoms, electron clouds and how temperature effects matter.
For more information: http://www.fcps.edu/fairfaxnetwork/innovation_nanotechnology/index.html
Investigate what makes something soluble by exploring the effects of intermolecular attractions and what properties are necessary in a solution to overcome them. Interactive models simulate the process of dissolution, allowing you to experiment with how external factors, such as heat, can affect a substance's solubility.
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.
Students will investigate different phases of and properties of matter, including mass, volume, density, solubility, and conservation.