Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • 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, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle 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.

  • Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum | Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Understanding Light & Color

    In this lesson students use spectroscopes to analyze the colors of sunlight reflected off a white surface, and determine various colors of light emitted by a multicolor LED bulb at different color settings. They predict what color an object will appear when observed under a certain color of light, and test their predictions with the LED bulb. Students explore how a color wheel can provide a useful model for determining the colors of light an object may absorb or reflect. Finally, students will investigate the color yellow. Many objects that appear yellow are not reflecting yellow light, but reflecting green and red. Students use their spectroscopes to search for objects that truly reflect yellow light.

  • Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum, Electrons | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Let it Glow

    In this lesson students will investigate the fluorescence of a variety of everyday items as well as prepared samples under a black light. Students will examine the concepts of absorption and subsequent emission of photons, as well as wavelength, frequency, and energy of electromagnetic radiation. As extension activities, students will learn about phosphorescence and research real-life applications of photoluminescence.

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

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

  • Interdisciplinary, Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Spectral Detective

    In this lab, students will use a spectroscope to view the atomic spectra of various unknown elements. Using their collected data in combination with known atomic spectra, they will identify the chemical elements.

  • Radiation, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Radiation | High School, Middle School

    Lab: The Most Effective Sunscreen

    In this lab, students will research and compare the effectiveness of various SPF levels in sunscreen lotions. The lotion’s ability to block UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun will be tested using a UV bead detector.    

  • Separating Mixtures, Interdisciplinary, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Mixture, Separating Mixtures | Middle School

    Lab: Candy and Leaf Chromatography

    In this lab, students will learn that mixtures are created by the combination of two or more substances. Many colors are actually mixtures of several different pigments. Mixtures can be separated, and in this lab students will perform chromatography to separate mixtures found in candy and in leaves.

  • Interdisciplinary, Atomic Spectra, Identifying an Unknown, Emission Spectrum, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Emission Spectrum | High School, Middle School

    Lab: Build a Spectroscope

    In this lab, the students will make and use a spectroscope to identify the spectra within various types of light bulbs. The students will then develop an improved design for the spectroscope.

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Subtopic: Electromagnetic Spectrum

Grade Level: Middle School

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