Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature | High School

    Simulation: Understanding Specific Heat Capacity

    In this simulation, students will play the role of engineer. They will calculate the specific heat capacity of various materials to determine which ones meet stated criteria and then perform a cost analysis to determine which material to use.

  • 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.

  • Chemical Change, Reaction Rate, Chemical Change, Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: A Comparison of Two Chemical Reactions

    In this lab, students will perform two chemical reactions, one between acetic acid and sodium bicarbonate and the other between the citric acid and the sodium bicarbonate in an Alka-Seltzer tablet when dissolved in water. Both reactions will produce gas while reacting in a closed plastic sandwich bag, causing it to inflate. Students will observe the reactions and analyze the results in order to understand indicators of chemical changes, heat flow, and factors that affect reaction rates

  • Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Energy Transfer Investigation

    In this lab, students will experience several examples of energy transfer. They will analyze their observations and interpret their results in an attempt to explain why each transfer took place.

  • 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.

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

    Activity: Alternative 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.

  • 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 | Middle School, High 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

  • Calorimetry, Heat, Hess's Law | High School

    Lesson Plan: Hess’s Law Application

    In this lesson students will determine the ΔHrxn of an unknown reaction using a calorimeter and Hess’s Law.

  • Classification of Reactions, Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Determining Endothermic and Exothermic Reaction

    In this lab, students will analyze evidence to determine if a chemical reaction releases energy and can be classified as an exothermic reaction or if it absorbs energy and can be classified as an endothermic reaction.

  • 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.

  • 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, Temperature, Heating Curve, Graphing | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Modeling the Melting of Ice

    In this lesson, students will create a particulate model of matter that explains energy changes and transfer during a phase change.

  • Melting Point, Freezing Point, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Intermolecular Forces, Heating Curve, Graphing | High School

    Lab: Heating & Cooling Curve

    In this lab, students will create a phase change graph by adding and removing heat to observe and record data during actual phase changes.

  • 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.

  • Heat, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Activation Energy, Le Châtelier's Principle, Establishing Equilibrium, Equilibrium Constants, Reaction Quotient | High School

    Activity: Reversible Reactions Simulation

    In this activity, students will investigate how temperature, activation energy, initial amounts of products and reactants, and type of reaction (exo- or endothermic) effect the equilibrium position of a reaction using a simulation.

  • Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature | High School

    Demonstration: Dramatic Demonstration of Thermal Conductivity and Specific Heat Capacity

    In this demonstration, students will observe the high thermal conductivity and low heat capacity of copper metal.

  • Physical Properties, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Scientific Method, Experimental Design | High School, Middle School

    Lesson Plan: Designing & Engineering a Fast Defroster

    In this activity students use their understanding of energy transfer to “design a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.”  And “evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.”  The real world problem is to help a cook who is trying to make a meal, but realizes some of the ingredients are frozen and must be thawed before he can begin.

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