Classroom Resources: Energy & Thermodynamics


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  • Conservation of Mass, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Law of Conservation of Energy | High School

    Activity: Building a Nuclide

    In this activity, students will construct a model of a nuclide and use this model to investigate why the mass of the nuclide is less than the summative mass of the individual nucleons (protons and neutrons). Additionally, the constructed nuclide will be used to help students conceptualize and differentiate between key lesson terminology (mass defect, strong nuclear force, and nuclear binding energy).

  • 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.

  • Interdisciplinary, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Animation: The Electromagnetic Spectrum Animation

    In this animation, students will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, with a focus on the visible spectrum. It addresses the relationship between color, wavelength, frequency, and energy of light waves, as well as how an object absorbs and reflects certain wavelengths of light to contribute to the color we perceive.

  • Interdisciplinary, Electromagnetic Spectrum | Elementary School, Middle School, High School

    Activity: Animation Activity: Electromagnetic Spectrum

    In this animation, students will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, with a focus on the visible spectrum. It addresses the relationship between color, wavelength, frequency, and energy of light waves, as well as how an object absorbs and reflects certain wavelengths of light to contribute to the color we perceive.

  • 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.

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

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

  • Atomic Theory, Electromagnetic Spectrum, Law of Conservation of Energy, Electrons | High School

    Simulation: Exciting Electrons

    In the March 2015 issue, students explore what happens when electrons within a generic atom are excited from their ground state. They will see that when an electron relaxes from an excited state to its ground state, energy is released in the form of electromagnetic radiation.

  • 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: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Physical Properties, History, Measurements, Temperature, 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, 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.

  • 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!

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

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

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

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

    Video: Hybrid and Electric Cars Video

    This video explores the chemistry in the batteries that power hybrid and electric cars.

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