Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, 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.

  • Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Middle School, Elementary School

    Demonstration: Giant Toothpaste

    In this demonstration, students will identify factors that indicate a chemical change has occurred while observing the production of giant toothpaste. This reaction uses simpler materials than those that are often used in the typical high school version of the Elephant’s toothpaste demonstration.

  • Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Little Miss Muffet

    In this lab, students make homemade glue from milk and compare it to commercial glue.

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

  • Separating Mixtures, Chemical Change, Physical Change, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Elementary School

    Lab: Super Suds

    In this lab, students will investigate an endothermic chemical reaction by combining baking soda, hand soap and citric acid. The students will be tasked with differentiating between chemical and physical changes during this experiment.

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

    Simulation: 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.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Activity: Endothermic & Exothermic Reactions

    In this activity, students observe industrial-strength snap sticks and chemical cold packs and discuss processes of endothermic and exothermic reactions.

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

  • Molarity, Stoichiometry, Limiting Reactant, Chemical Change, Calorimetry, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic | 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.

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

    Demonstration: Potassium Permanganate Demo

    In this demo, students witness two chemicals that take some time to react. The KMnO4 and glycerin come into contact and appear not to react, but then a flame results. This is an example of an exothermic redox reaction.

  • Conservation of Mass, Exothermic & Endothermic | 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.

  • Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Demonstration: Gun Cotton

    In this demo, students will witness a decomposition reaction of gun cotton; a smokeless flame results.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Exothermic and Endothermic Lab

    In this lab, students determine whether mixing two chemicals is endothermic or exothermic. One is a physical change, one is a chemical change.

  • Exothermic & Endothermic | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: Energy in Hot and Cold Packs

    In this demonstration, students will observe temperature changes in chemical hot and cold packs and discuss processes of endothermic and exothermic changes. They will also see that common household products can be used to make a hot and cold pack.

  • Freezing Point, Physical Change, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic, Boiling Point | Middle School, High School

    Demonstration: Energy

    In this demonstration, students will observe the exothermic and endothermic properties of state changes of substances with different freezing and boiling points.

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

    Lab: Designing Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions

    In this lab, students will design and test an experiment for producing either an endothermic or an exothermic reaction. The goal of the lab is for students to successfully construct a reproducible procedure for a reaction that either releases or absorbs thermal energy, and that can be supported with data.

  • Calorimetry, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Cool Science: Building and Testing a Model Radiator

    In this lab students construct a model of a car radiator to investigate parameters that lead to efficient cooling. Students investigate multiple variables as they experiment with various radiator designs. This lesson focuses on thermochemistry calculations and engineering practices.

  • Physical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Middle School, High School

    Lesson Plan: Particle Modeling of Hand Warmers

    In this lesson, students will create a particulate model of matter that explains energy changes and transfer during a physical process, such as the crystallization of a solid from a supersaturated solution.

  • Chemical Change, Acid Base Reactions, Chemical Change, Exothermic & Endothermic | Elementary School

    Demonstration: Comparing Chemical Reactions

    In this demonstration, the teacher will perform two chemical reactions, one will be between acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and the other will be between Alka-Seltzer and water. Both reactions will produce gas and will be conducted in a Ziploc bag, causing it to inflate. Students will observe the reactions and analyze the results in order to understand indicators of chemical change. Students will also determine that these are both endothermic reactions based on their observations.

  • Observations, Chemical Change, Chemical Change, Temperature, Exothermic & Endothermic | High School

    Lab: Observing a Chemical Reaction

    In this lab, students will practice making careful observations and measurements while witnessing a chemical change.

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