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6.2 Thermal Energy
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Unit Summary
This unit on thermal energy transfer begins with students testing whether a new plastic cup sold by a store keeps a drink colder for longer compared to the regular plastic cup that comes free with the drink. Students find that the drink in the regular cup warms up more than the drink in the special cup. This prompts students to identify features of the cups that are different, such as the lid, walls, and hole for the straw, that might explain why one drink warms up more than the other. 
Students investigate the different cup features they conjecture are important to explaining the phenomenon, starting with the lid. They model how matter can enter or exit the cup via evaporation However, they find that in a completely closed system, the liquid inside the cup still changes temperature. This motivates the need to trace the transfer of energy into the drink as it warms up. Through a series of lab investigations and simulations, students find that there are two ways to transfer energy into the drink: (1) the absorption of light and (2) thermal energy from the warmer air around the drink. They are then challenged to design their own drink container that can perform as well as the store-bought container, following a set of design criteria and constraints.
This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS1-4*, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS4-2*, MS-ETS1-4. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
6.3 Weather, Climate & Water Cycling
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The goals of OpenSciEd are to ensure any science teacher, anywhere, can access and download freely available, high quality, locally adaptable full-course materials. REMOTE LEARNING GUIDE FOR THIS UNIT NOW AVAILABLE!

This unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets. In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation. Each of these two parts of the unit is grounded in a different anchoring phenomenon.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Physical Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
08/18/2020
All Fat Is Not Created Equally!
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Nutrition
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jasmin Hume
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Concord Consortium: States of Matter
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
05/10/2011
Diffusion
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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.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
12/11/2011
Floaters and Sinkers
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Floaters and Sinkers: Lesson
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Hot Air Balloon!
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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.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Interactive
Simulation
Provider:
University of Wisconsin
Provider Set:
The Yard Games
Date Added:
08/04/2016
Matter and Its Interactions Phenomenon Unit - Tanker Collapse
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This resource is a phenomenon-based adaption to the Smithsonian's STCMS Matter and Its Interactions kit. The anchoring phenomenon event features a railroad tanker that collapses due to the phase changes of water that was used to clean it. Students will investigate what causes phase changes, energy transfer, thermal energy, the law of conservation of mass, and atoms and molecules throughout the three week unit.

Subject:
Physical Science
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Author:
Carissa Haug
Date Added:
06/17/2019
Melting Ice
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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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
12/13/2011
Newton's Law of Cooling
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Karl Abdelnour
Nicole Abaid
Robert Eckhardt
Date Added:
09/18/2014
North Cascades Institute Snow Crystal Morphology Lesson
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-SA
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Lesson plan to explore how snow crystals form, atmospheric conditions that influence crystal morphology. Makes connections crystals, snow density and water content

Subject:
Applied Science
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Author:
Abigail Sussman
Date Added:
05/24/2019
Radiant Energy Flow
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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.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
12/11/2011
Seeing Small  | Innovation Workshop: Nanotechnology, Part 2
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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
Twitter @FFXNetwork

Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture
Provider:
Fairfax County Public Schools
Provider Set:
Fairfax Network
Date Added:
11/24/2015
Snow Crystal Morphology
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Lesson plan to explore how snow crystals form, atmospheric conditions that influence crystal morphology. Makes connections crystals, snow density and water content

Subject:
Applied Science
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Author:
Barbara Soots
Abigail Sussman
Date Added:
07/31/2019
Solubility
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
12/11/2011
What Is Heat?
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brendan Higgins
Duff Harrold
Nadia Richards
Travis Smith
Date Added:
09/18/2014