New AACT Resources to Help Teach Phase Changes and Heat Transfer

By AACT on February 20, 2024

As chemistry teachers around the country plan activities for their students, AACT will be highlighting resources from our high school resource library that can be used to reinforce topics in different units throughout the school year. Our last post highlighted resources to support a Stoichiometry unit. We will now focus on activities for a Phase Changes and Heat Transfer unit.

A fun demo to start off this unit would be the Boiling Water & Liquid Nitrogen Demo. In this demonstration, students will observe boiling water added to liquid nitrogen. This causes the liquid nitrogen to quickly evaporate and appear cloud-like as water vapor in the air condenses on the cold gaseous nitrogen.

In the Cooking an Egg in Chemistry Class lab, students will differentiate between physical and chemical changes and make observations at regular intervals. The lab also allows students to analyze what is happening using properties such as intermolecular forces, heat of vaporization, and specific heat capacity. 

Another popular resource is Investigating Condensation. The objective of this activity is to explore phase changes and determine whether the processes are endothermic or exothermic. Students observe condensation and compare two different scenarios, while focusing on what is happening at the molecular level.

We hope that the activities in this unit plan will help you to reinforce several of the topics covered in a unit about phase changes and heat transfer. Most of these lessons were made possible by great teachers who shared their own resources. We need your help to keep the collection growing. Do you have a great demonstration, activity, or lesson related to this topic that you would like to share with the community? Please send it along for consideration.