Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Graphing, Radiation, Experimental design | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: The Ozone Layer

    In this lesson, students will develop an explanation for the consequences of ozone depletion on Earth by planning and carrying out an investigation. Students will use analysis and interpretation of data to develop a model to explain the cause and effect of Ozone depletion on the planet Earth.

  • Renewable Energy, Culminating Project | High School

    Project: Sustainable Energy Evaluation

    In this project, students will develop a presentation to compare the pros and cons of a sustainable resource. The explanation will involve researching the cost and benefits of the resource and analyzing if the resource should continue to be used.

  • Calorimetry, Heat, Specific Heat | High School

    Activity: Heat Flow Process Engineering Optimization

    In this activity, students will use a team-based approach to solve the problem of upscaling a chemical process from lab scale to production scale for a hypothetical reaction. The project involves thermochemistry concepts of heat and calorimetry, along with conversion factors. The students will use a team-oriented problem-solving approach. The emphasis is placed on data driven decision making.

  • Entropy, Exothermic & Endothermic, Gibb's Free Energy , Enthalpy, Spontaneous vs. Non-spontaneous Reactions | High School

    Lab: Investigating Enthalpy and Entropy

    In this lab, students will be able to observe and measure energy changes during the formation of solutions. The students should be able to explain and describe these changes in terms of entropy, enthalpy and free energy.

  • Introduction, Elements, Periodic Table, Temperature | High School

    Activity: An Element Fill-In Puzzle

    In this activity, students will solve a puzzle by using element symbols from the periodic table to fill-in missing letters in familiar chemistry terms related to energy and thermodynamics.

  • Redox Reaction, Classification of Reactions, Exothermic & Endothermic, Oxidation, Spontaneous Reactions , Spontaneous Reactions | High School

    Demonstration: Potassium Permanganate Volcano

    In this demonstration, glycerol is oxidized by using potassium permanganate as a catalyst. This gives off a tremendous amount of heat, light, and gas as a volcano of purple flames emit. It is an excellent way to introduce exothermic reactions and discuss spontaneous reactions.

  • Calorimetry, Heat, Entropy, Specific Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Hess's Law, Gibb's Free Energy , Enthalpy, Energy Diagrams | High School

    Lesson Plan: Thermochemistry and Thermodynamics Unit Plan

    The AACT high school classroom resource library and multimedia collection has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan using AACT resources that is designed to teach thermochemistry and thermodynamics to your students.

  • Melting Point, Phase Changes, Heat | Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Chocolate Changes

    In this lesson, students will review what they know about the three states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas). They will perform a word sort about states of matter and discuss how substances can exist in more than one state of matter. Following this they will contribute to a KWL (Know, Want to know, Learned) chart. The teacher will conclude the lesson with a demonstration using chocolate.

  • Melting Point, Phase Changes, Phase Diagram, Molecular Motion, Calorimetry, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Intermolecular Forces, Heating Curve, Boiling Point, Law of Conservation of Energy | High School

    Lesson Plan: Phase Changes and Heat Transfer

    The AACT high school classroom resource library and multimedia collection has everything you need to put together a unit plan for your classroom: lessons, activities, labs, projects, videos, simulations, and animations. We constructed a unit plan using AACT resources that is designed to teach the Phase Changes and Heat Transfer to your students.

  • Electrolysis, Redox Reaction, Galvanic Cells, Gibb's Free Energy , Electrolytic Cells | High School

    Lesson Plan: Exploration of Electrolytic Cells

    In this lesson, students will build several electrolytic cells, discuss and diagram their cells to further their understanding of electrolysis, and use qualitative and quantitative analysis of the electrolysis of potassium iodide. Finally, students will practice and be assessed on their knowledge of electrolysis on AP exam-level questioning.

  • Catalysts, Entropy, Equilibrium Constants, Enthalpy, Activation Energy, Energy Diagrams, Reaction Quotient, Spontaneous vs. Non-spontaneous Reactions | High School

    Lesson Plan: Making Connections in Kinetics, Equilibrium and Thermochemistry

    In this lesson students will understand the connections between the equilibrium constant (K) and the reaction quotient (Q) as well as how they determine the favorability of a reaction. Additionally students will be able to determine if a reaction is kinetically favored or thermodynamically favored.

  • Renewable Energy, Introduction, Interdisciplinary, History, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat | High School, Middle School

    Activity: The Frontiers of Chemistry: Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching a video about several exciting scientific developments, including solar cells, 3D printing and micro machines. This video will help students understand that fundamental chemistry concepts are essential to the advancement of science and technology.

  • Elements, Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum | Middle School, Elementary School

    Lesson Plan: Elements Are Out of This World

    In this lesson, students will learn about the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere and lithosphere and then compare and contrast the information with the elements that compose various other astronomical objects.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Mole Concept, Percent Composition, Emission Spectrum | High School

    Lesson Plan: Chemical Analysis of Martian Rocks

    In this lesson, students are challenged to analyze the spectral graphs obtained by the Curiosity Mars Rover. Based on their examination students will determine the component elements of each sample, as well as the relative abundance of each element. With this information the student will complete calculations to find the empirical formula and identify the composition of the unknown rock. Finally students will complete research to see if these rocks are actually like those on Earth.

  • Reaction Rate, Exothermic & Endothermic, Le Châtelier's Principle, Hess's Law, Activation Energy | High School

    Lab: Kinetics and Equilibrium

    In this lab, students will investigate the reaction of the hydrogen sulfite ion (HSO3-) and the iodate ion (IO3-) to determine the effect that changing concentration and temperature has on the reaction rate.

  • Density, Phase Changes, Specific Heat, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Chemistry is Cooler Stress Test Challenge

    In this lab, students will design and build a device capable of insulating an ice cube submerged in boiling water for two minutes. In this open-ended inquiry based activity, students will be required to critically think about structure and function of the materials they wish to use to build a device to solve a complex real-world problem. Students must consider the thermal properties of the materials, density, and the need to form a non-permeable barrier between the ice cube and the boiling water.

  • Physical Properties, History, Measurements, Temperature, SI Units, Accuracy | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Activity: Temperature Guys Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer questions about how both the thermometer and the concept of temperature evolved over time

  • Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Lab: The Case of the Contaminated Well

    In this lab, students will observe the colors produced when different metal salt solutions are heated in a flame. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if collected evidence was contaminated.

  • Atomic Spectra, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Lab: Mystical Fire Investigation

    In this lab, students will create several testable questions based upon their observations of a mystical fire. Students then direct their own laboratory experience as they safely investigate these testable questions through the use of multiple flame tests.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Calorimetry, Specific Heat | High School

    Lab: The Search for a Hit and Run Suspect

    In this lab, students will determine the specific heat capacity of multiple unknown metal samples through collecting data and completing calorimetric calculations. Students will take on the role of a forensic investigator and use their results to help them determine if a suspect’s vehicle was potentially involved in a hit and run incident.

  • Temperature, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Heat, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Mega Marshmallows

    In this lab, students will investigate the Kinetic Molecular Theory and particle motion while experimenting with a marshmallow. Students will observe how an increase in kinetic energy will cause particles to increase in motion. This concept will be extended into a discussion about additional real world thermal expansion examples.

  • Atomic Spectra, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Electrons | High School

    Demonstration: Flame Test (Rainbow Demo)

    In this demonstration, students will observe the variety of colors produced when different metals or metallic salts are heated in a flame.

  • Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Law of Conservation of Energy, Bond Energy | High School

    Project: Thermochemistry Infographic

    In this project, students will apply the principles of thermochemistry and thermodynamics to explain real world phenomena by creating an infographic using web based tools.

  • Temperature, Heat, Temperature | Middle School, Elementary School

    Demonstration: An Uplifting Experience

    In this demonstration, students will investigate what happens to air when it is heated.

  • Electricity, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Heat, Temperature, Molecular Geometry, Electronegativity | High School, Middle School

    Video: The Future of Paint Video

    This video explores the fascinating and innovative scientific advancements of paint. Students will learn how the molecular components in paint are helping to evolve in the world around them. Futuristic paint is capable of replacing light switches, conducting electricity, and regulating temperature amongst other things!

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