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Becky McCoy


Timing: 50 minutes

Target Audience:
High school Physics

Students Will Be Able To:
• Describe how heat is related to thermal energy.
• Relate specific heat to an object’s internal energy.
• Observe, take data, and keep notes during an experimental activity.
• Use equations to calculate an object/substance’s internal energy as well as the
change in internal energy in an object/substance for a given temperature change.

The Teacher Will Be Able To:

• Provide students with opportunities to observe thermal energy transfer.
• Assess student’s comprehension of different forms of heat transfer.

Standards Assessed:
Advanced Placement (AP) Physics B Competency Goal #31
• Objective 3.02: Evaluate and investigate temperature and heat

Misconception(s) Addressed:
• The application of heat to a body always results in a rise in temperature.

Concept Map Vocabulary

• Heat – Energy transfer from an object/substance with a higher temperature to an
object/substance with a lower temperature.
• Internal Energy – The energy in the system arising from the relative positions and
interactions of its parts.
• Specific Heat – The energy transferred when 1kg of material is raised or lowered
• Heat Transfer – Process by which energy is passed between two different
objects/substances; Types of heat transfer include: Radiation, Conduction, Convection,
• Radiation – Energy transferred through electromagnetic waves.
• Conduction – Energy transferred through direct contact of two objects/substances.
• Convection – the transfer of heat by the circulation or movement of the heated parts of a
liquid or gas.
• Diffusion – Intermingling of molecular parts due to change in thermal energy.
• Insulator – An object or material that minimizes the transfer of thermal energy.
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• Conductor – An object or material that allows thermal energy to transfer easily.

Lesson Plan

Aim: Collect information and data about thermal energy and heat transfer.

Physics Push-Up: Think-Pair Share (5 min)

Students should discuss with their partner what they discovered in class the day before.
Were their predictions accurate? Do they agree whether or not gloves, hats, coats, etc.
create heat?

Small Group Activity: Experiment Stations and Two Stay: One Stray2 (25 min)
The class should be broken into groups of four or five so that there is an even number of
groups. Half of the groups should start at STATION I, with enough stations for each
group. The other half of the class should start at STATION II while the teacher guides the
observation. When students are working at their group’s first station, they should check
their results with the other groups (Two Stay: One Stray). After 10 minutes, the groups
should switch to the other station. This leaves 5 minutes for clean up.

• Butter
• Spoons of different materials, such as plastic, wood, silver, and other metals.
• Glass beakers
• Glass flasks
• Hot water
• Balloons
• Hot plates
• Cold water in large container
• Activity sheets

STATION I: Butter and Spoons
• Place several spoons of different materials in a beaker without them touching each
• Put a small pat of butter along the stem on each utensil at the same height.
• Pour some hot water into the beaker up to a level below the butter; measure water
temperature, and observe what happens.
• Students will record what happened to the butter and if it happened to each spoon.
Why did this happen?

STATION II: An Inflating Balloon

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• Fill a flask with 100 mL of water and a large beaker with 300mL cold water.
• Heat the flask over the Bunsen burner until hot.
• Measure the temperature of the hot water and the cold water.
• Seal the opening of the flask by securing a balloon on the lips of the flask.
• Have the students observe what happens to the balloon.
• Place the flask of hot water in a larger glass of cooled water and observe the
reaction of the balloon.
• After 5 minutes, students should measure the temperature of the hot water flask
and cold water beaker.

Teacher Talk: Equations (15 min)

Introduce the relevant equations from the concept map.
• E=CMGT (E is the amount of internal energy contained in an object at a given
• Heat=CMG∆T
Explain to students that the heat equation uses the change in temperature (∆T ) because
the energy transfer is due to the difference in temperature between objects. This is the
opportunity to show students how to use the equations by doing a few examples.
Example 1:
Hot tea is poured into a glass mug. Find the total energy of the system.
Mass of Tea: .25kg
Specific Heat of Tea: 1.0Cal/deg/kg
Temperature of Tea: 70oCelsius
Mass of Glass: .10kg
Specific Heat of Glass: .20 Cal/deg/kg
Temperature of Glass: 70oCelsius
1.0 x0.25kgxT = 0.25T = Energy tea
deg· kg
0.02 x0.10kgxT = 0.02T = Energy glass
deg· kg
E total = 0.25T + 0.02T = 0.27T = 0.27x70 = 18.9Calories
(from "Introductory Physics" by Karplus)
Example 2:
How much heat must be added to 0.50kg of water at room temperature (20oC) to raise its
temperature to 30oC?
Mass of Water: 0.50kg
Specific Heat of Water: 1.0 Cal/deg/kg
Initial Temperature: 20oC
Final Temperature: 30oC
E = .50x1.0x(30 - 20) = 5Calories
(from "An Introduction to Physical Science" by Shipman, Wilson, and Todd)
Becky McCoy

Homework: Hot Homework: Analyzing Data (2 min)

Teacher announces that students should complete the Hot Homework: Analyzing Data

Exit Strategy: Activity Sheet Review (3 min)

As students leave, the teacher should check their experimental worksheets to make sure
they have their data recorded that they’ll need for their homework

• Formative:
o Teacher plans to collect and review students’ activity sheets where they record
their observations as well as Hot Homework the next day.
o Student reactions during balloon activity.

- Group activity found online, written by: Sally Ferrelle, Oglethorpe Academy, Savannah, GA
Becky McCoy

Experimental Observations:
Station I: Butter and Spoons
• Various Spoons of Different Materials
o Spoon 1 Material:
o Spoon 2 Material:
o Spoon 3 Material:
o Spoon 4 Material:
• Butter Observations: What did you observe after
each procedural step? Is it what you thought
• Beaker would happen? Include your measurement of
• Hot Water the hot water temperature. Note what types of
heat transfer are occurring.
Procedure: Write in your procedure here.
Becky McCoy

Experimental Observations:
Station II: An Inflating Balloon

Materials: Glass flasks, balloons, hot Observations: What did we see?

plates, water, beakers. Why do you think we saw this?
Procedure: What did we do?

Initial Temperature of Hot Water – Final Temperature of Hot Water –

Initial Temperature of Cold Water – Final Temperature of Cold Water –

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Name __________________________________________________ Date ________________

Hot Homework: Analyzing Data

PART ONE: STATION I Butter and Spoons

Find the temperature change of each spoon using the room temperature, specific heat of specific
materials, and temperature of the water.

Specific Heat: measured in kcal/kg*Celsius Room Temperature = 21oC

Water – 1.00 Temperature of Hot Water =
Wood – 0.40
Steel – 0.12 Equations:
Plastic – 0.40 E=CMGT
Rubber – 0.48 Heat=CMG∆T
Becky McCoy

PART TWO: STATION II An Inflating Balloon

Using the data you collected, find the energy involved in cooling the hot water and warming the
cold water.

Calculate how much energy would be involved to bring the hot and cold water to the same
temperature. How long would it take?