Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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

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

  • Mixtures, Molecular Structure, Electromagnetic Spectrum | High School, Middle 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 | High School, Middle 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, Electricity, Redox Reaction, Galvanic Cells, Cathode, Anode | High School

    Activity: Hybrid and Electric Cars Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the chemistry of batteries as they are used to power hybrid and electric cars. Students will learn about the basics of electricity, as well as how batteries function as a source of electricity.

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

    Activity: Alternate Fuels Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the alternatives to petroleum-based fossil fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen fuel cells. Students will learn about the pros and cons of various fuel sources, as well as possibilities for the future of fuels.

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

  • Polymers, Combustion, Heat, Exothermic & Endothermic, Heat of Combustion, Molecular Structure | High School

    Activity: The Internal Combustion Engine Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a video and answer related questions about the mechanical and chemical processed used in the internal combustion engine. Additionally they will learn about reactions and fuel types as well as the history and evolution of the combustion engine.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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.

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