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Students will measure the heat created at each center.
Students will learn that heat is produced from human activities and mechanical and electrical machines. Heat is produced almost anywhere.
Heat is the random motion of molecules. A hot object is one whose atoms and molecules are excited and show rapid movement. A cooler object’s molecules and atoms will be less excited and show less movement. When these molecules are in an excited state, they take up more space because they are moving around so fast. When molecules settle down, or cool down, they take up less space. If hot, high-energy atoms come into contact with cool, low-energy atoms, the excited atoms will loose some of their energy to the cool atoms. The two atoms will settle into an energy level that is between where they each started out. That level is called Thermal Equilibrium.
It is important for students to understand that situations that produce heat involve motion—either observable, such as activity-based (human or mechanical), or electrical. Simple, stationary objects do not produce heat.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
3. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Invitation to Learn
To extend, have students either jog in place, stomp their feet, or do jumping jacks. After a period of time, have students stop and discuss their similar heat-based reactions. You need to give them the impression that they are “little heat producers” when they are physically active.
Set up and label centers where each group can discover the difference in temperature resulting from the following activities. If groups will be reporting their findings, mix the centers with combinations of the four types of activities.
4 correct, complete, detailed
3 partially correct, complete, detailed
2 partially correct or complete, lacks some detail
1 incorrect or incomplete, missing data, needs help
0 no attempt
Adaptation—Student explains what they did and what they discovered.
Kesidou, S. & Roseman, J.E., (2002), How Well Do Middle School Science Programs Measure Up? Findings from Project 2061’s Curriculum Review.
Programs rarely provided students with a sense of purpose for the units of study. This program took account of student’s beliefs that interfere with learning. It modeled the use of scientific knowledge so that students could apply what they learned in everyday situations.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2001). Science for All Americans online. Chapter 4: The physical Setting
Heat energy is the random motion of molecules. Whenever the amount of energy in one place or form diminishes, the amount in another place or form increases. Heat always tends to diffuse from warmer places to cooler places.
Sillman, K. & Dana, T. (1999). Metaphor: A Tool for Monitoring Prospective
Teachers’ Developing Metacognitive Awareness of Learning and Teaching Science,
paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Boston Massachutes.
Providing students with meaningful, hands-on activities is valuable. However, this is not enough; connections have to be made.