Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Understanding Specific Heat

    In this simulation, students will play the role of engineer in deciding which materials are the best candidates for a building project. They will calculate the specific heat capacity of various building materials to determine which ones meet the criteria for building an energy efficient home. Students will also do a cost analysis to determine which material to use in their building project. On the student activity sheet, they will answer additional conceptual and numerical questions related to specific heat capacity.

  • Interdisciplinary, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Electromagnetic Spectrum

    In this animation, students will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, with a focus on the visible spectrum. It addresses the relationship between color, wavelength, frequency, and energy of light waves, as well as how an object absorbs and reflects certain wavelengths of light to contribute to the color we perceive.

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

    Activity: Future of Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the fascinating and innovative scientific advancements of paint. During the video, Students will learn how the molecular components in paint are helping to evolve in the world around them.

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Color Matching Paint Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. During the video, students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Activity: What are Pigments? Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. During the video, students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

  • Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Activity: What is Paint? Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the composition of paint. During the video, students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

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

    Video: Frontiers of Chemistry

    This video explores new scientific developments that were made possible by the application of fundamental chemistry concepts. Students will learn about exciting advances in science and technology focused on three main topics: Solar Cells, 3D Printing and Micro Machines.

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

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

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

  • Identifying an Unknown, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Video: Color Matching Paint Video

    This video explains how technology, specifically focusing on spectrophotometry, can be used for paint matching. Students will learn how the spectrophotometer interacts with the spectrum of visible light in order to match or reproduce specific paint colors.

  • Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Video: What are Pigments? Video

    This video discusses the chemistry of pigment molecules and how they are used to give paints their specific color. Students will learn about the importance of a pigment’s molecular structure, how they are physically suspended to create a paint color, as well as how they interact with light.

  • Mixtures, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Formula, Polymers, Molecular Structure, Solute & Solvent, Intermolecular Forces, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Middle School, High School

    Video: What is Paint? Video

    This video investigates the composition of paint, while analyzing the fundamental chemistry principles of its main components. Students will learn about the differences between three common paint types, water colors, oil-based and acrylic paint as well as the chemistry of each.

  • Classification of Reactions, Chemical Change, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Activation Energy, Energy Diagrams, Bond Energy | Middle School, High School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions

    In this simulation, students will evaluate the energy changes in an endothermic and an exothermic chemical reaction. Through the use of this simulation students will have the opportunity to compare how energy is absorbed and released in each reaction. Additionally, students will make a connection between the standard energy diagrams associated with each reaction type.

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

    Video: The Temperature Guys Video

    This video tells the story of how temperature as we currently know it evolved. The first thermometers invented in the early 1600s are very different than ones we use today!

  • Combustion, Heat, Exothermic & Endothermic, Heat of Combustion | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Video: The Internal Combustion Engine Video

    This video investigates both the mechanical and the chemical processes used in the internal combustion engine, as well as the history and evolution of the combustion engine.

  • Catalysts, Reduction, Combustion, Redox Reaction, Activation Energy, Oxidation | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Video: Catalytic Converters Video

    This video investigates the role of a catalytic converter and its corresponding chemical reactions within a vehicle. Students will learn about both oxidation and reduction reactions and how they, in combination with a catalyst, can impact the molecules released in a car’s exhaust.

  • Renewable Energy, Electricity, Galvanic Cells, Heat, Cathode, Anode | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Video: Alternative Fuels Video

    This video analyzes alternatives to petroleum based fossil fuels, such as biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells.

  • Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Molecular Motion, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Intermolecular Forces, Heating Curve, Boiling Point, Heat of Vaporization , Heat of Fusion | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Simulation Activity: Heating Curve of Water

    In this simulation, students will investigate qualitatively and quantitatively what happens as water changes states.

  • Observations, Molecular Motion, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature | High School, Middle School

    Activity: What Makes Something Feel Warm

    In this lesson students actively engage in thinking about energy issues in chemistry and the nature of energy (thermal) transfer. The idea that temperature is a measure of heat content will be challenged, and students will be given the opportunity to collect data that will allow them to clearly see that different materials transfer energy at different rates.

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Grade Level: Middle School

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