In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about how both the thermometer and the concept of temperature evolved over time.
Elementary, Middle, and High School
By the end of this activity, students should be able to
- Identify the three different temperature scales.
- Explain the basic concept of how a thermometer works.
- Distinguish between the temperature scales: Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin.
- Understand that temperature values can be converted from one unit to another.
This activity supports students’ understanding of
- SI units
- Physical properties
- History of Chemistry
Teacher Preparation: minimal
Lesson: 10 minutes
- No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.
- The Temperature Guys video was developed as a part of the AACT original video series, Founders of Chemistry. The entire series can be found here.
- The running time of this video is five minutes and forty seconds.
- This video is intended for students to watch, and for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.
- The student questions/answers are presented in sequential order in the video.
- An answer key has also been provided for teacher reference.
- Videos can be shown with the use of a classroom projector, or teachers can generate a Student Video Pass through their AACT membership to allow students to independently access the video.
For the Student
While watching the Founders of Chemistry Video about the Temperature Guys, answer the following questions:
- Who are the “temperature guys”?
- When and where was the first thermometer created?
- What is the basic principle of the thermometer? (How does it work?)
- When was the first mercury thermometer introduced?
- What properties make mercury a good choice for use in a thermometer?
- What is the freezing point of water on the Fahrenheit scale? What is the boiling point of water on the Fahrenheit scale?
- What did Celsius discover that made the Fahrenheit scale not precise enough?
- What was the original name for the Celsius scale?
- What is the freezing point of water on the Celsius scale? Boiling point?
- What is “absolute zero”?
- What degrees Celsius is equal to 0 Kelvin?
- What is the freezing point of water on the Kelvin scale? What is the boiling point?