Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • Phase Changes, Exothermic & Endothermic, Temperature, Heat of Combustion, Intermolecular Forces, Molecular Motion | High School

    Lab: Investigating Condensation

    In this lab, students will explore the phase change of condensation and determine whether this process is endothermic or exothermic. Students will then investigate how water vapor condenses, what effect surrounding temperature has on the rate of condensation, and what is happening to the molecules when they condense.

  • Physical Properties, Polymers, Interdisciplinary, Lab Safety, Polymers, Heat, Temperature, Chemical Properties | High School

    Activity: Ingenious: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash Video Questions

    In this activity, students will answer questions while watching the video, This Sandwich will Save your life in an Arc Flash, from the Ingenious series produced by the American Chemical Society. Each episode investigates a different topic related to how leading-edge chemistry is taking on the world’s most urgent issues to advance everyone’s quality of life and secure our shared future. This episode investigates the composite fabrics that protect lives of many people, like industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers. When these workers encounter a fiery situation, they rely on protective clothing, designed using multiple layers of chemistry, to keep them safe.

  • Physical Properties, Polymers, Interdisciplinary, Lab Safety, Heat, Temperature, Molecular Structure , Chemical Properties | High School

    Video: Ingenious Video 3: This Sandwich Will Save Your Life in an Arc Flash

    It’s never fun when your clothes catch on fire. And while “stop, drop, and roll” may be a good idea sometimes, in more extreme cases, you need a better plan. Every day, industrial workers, firefighters, and soldiers risk fiery situations that might seem hard to imagine. In an arc flash event, for one, temperatures can jump to metal-melting levels in milliseconds. How can anyone possibly survive that? Well, take a tip from a club sandwich, because it’s all about the layers. The composite fabrics that protect life and limb in these situations rely on some incredible, multilayered chemistry, including the ability to quickly form a protective carbonaceous crust around the wearer.

  • Observations, Phase Changes, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Specific Heat, Temperature, Heat of Combustion, Intermolecular Forces, Heating Curve, Boiling Point, Heat of Vaporization | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: Cooking an Egg in Chemistry Class

    In this demonstration, students will observe the very high latent heat of vaporization for water by boiling water over a Bunsen burner in a paper cup to cook a boiled egg. The discussion can be extended to incorporate intermolecular forces to explain the unusually high boiling point of water, as well as heat of vaporization and specific heat capacity.

  • 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 | Middle School, High 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.

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

  • Exothermic & Endothermic, Heat, Temperature | 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, Heat, Temperature, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Radiation, Graphing, 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.

  • 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.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic, Calorimetry, Heat, Hess's Law, Entropy, Specific Heat, Temperature, 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, Calorimetry, Heat, Specific Heat, Temperature, Intermolecular Forces, Heating Curve, Phase Diagram, Molecular Motion, Law of Conservation of Energy, Boiling Point | High School

    Lesson Plan: Phase Changes and Heat Transfer 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 the Phase Changes and Heat Transfer to your students.

  • Physical Properties, History, Temperature, Measurements, 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

  • 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.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic, Temperature, 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.

  • 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!

  • Classification of Reactions, Exothermic & Endothermic, Heat, Temperature | 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.

  • Classification of Reactions, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic, Temperature, 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, Temperature, Accuracy | 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!

  • Concentration, Molarity, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic, Calorimetry, Heat, Temperature, Scientific Method, Enthalpy, Experimental Design | High School

    Lab: Less Than Zero

    In this lab, students will investigate the endothermic reaction between baking soda and HCl. Students will consider stoichiometric ratios, molar concentrations, reaction scale, and calorimetry. The lab starts with a scripted reaction that uses given molar ratios, a glass beaker, and 2-M HCl. They will witness a temperature drop of about 5 to 8 C. Students then adjust the experiment so they can achieve a temperature drop of more than 20 C.

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

  • Observations, Inferences, Temperature, Molecular Motion | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: What is Temperature?

    In this demonstration, students will observe food dye mixing with water at different temperatures.

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

    Demonstration: Le Châtelier’s Principle

    In this demonstration, students will witness a system at equilibrium and apply different stresses to see how the equilibrium shifts.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Conservation of Mass, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic, Heat, Temperature | Middle School, High School

    Lab: Kitchen Reaction

    In this lab students will observe an endothermic chemical reaction involving baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid). Students will investigate the signs a chemical reaction has occurred (gas production, change in temperature). Students will perform the lab in an open system so they can see the change of mass due to gas production. This lab is a lead into the topic of conservation of mass. After the lab is completed, the teacher should do a demonstration of the exothermic reaction Hydrogen peroxide and potassium iodide.

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