Crystal P. LaVoie
What is heat? (http://www.utm.edu/departments/ed/cece/sixth/6C4.shtml)
The objective of this is activity is for students to describe the scientific meaning of heat. Using simple materials (Pieces of sheet metal and coat hanger wire, beakers, food coloring, droppers, candle or hotplate), students will bend a piece of sheet metal and feel the increase in temperature at the bend caused by increased molecular motion; they will do the same experiment with the coat hanger. Next they will place equal amounts of food coloring, drop by drop, into two beakers of cold water. The water should not be stirred after adding the food coloring. Students should then heat one of the beakers and compare the results. Have students write the reason for the sheet metal and wire becoming warm after being bent back and forth and draw a diagram of what happened to the food coloring in the two beakers of water during their experiment. Write the following questions on the board:
- Define heat.
- Compare the movement of molecules in a gas to a solid.
- What causes the increase in heat where the wire hanger is bent?
Have students copy the questions into their notebooks and answer the questions for homework. Use the answers in a “do now” the following day.
Heat transfer activity
Students will be given the opportunity to research heat transfer as demonstrated by a potholder, or a trivet or a thermos. Students will design their own trivets and then write an expository essay about why it works to prevent the counter from being burned by a pot. Another possibility is to do an experiment where you put ice into hot water and measure the changes. Again, an expository essay should be written explaining why the ice melts, but the water does not freeze.