Investigating Heat - Teacher Manual

Investigating Heat - Teacher Manual

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This Unit explores heat, temperature, and the transfer of heat through conduction, convection, and radiation. Students will perform investigations focused on the relationship between kinetic energy and temperature, and the relationship of heat to kinetic energy and temperature. Through the processes of experimentation and  summarization, students will learn to use their results to create rules to explain these relationships.

Students will understand through experimentation that temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of molecules, and that heat is the difference in temperature between molecules of higher kinetic energy and molecules of lower kinetic energy. Students will learn to calculate the rate of heat transfer and use this formula to draw conclusions as they explore different types and processes of heat transfer. Investigations focusing on heat conductivity as a property of matter will promote understanding that the chemical composition of matter determines its ability to transfer heat. Students will also learn how this property is used in daily life to control the rate of heat transfer between substances through the use of insulating materials.

In investigations focusing on the Law of Conservation of Energy, students will discover that chemical reactions can be classified as endothermic or exothermic by whether they result in the release or the absorption of heat, and explore why temperature change is a sign of chemical change.

Through performing experiments, observing chemical and physical changes, and participating in class discussion, students will begin to comprehend that the transfer of heat is an integral part of all aspects of scientific study. This Unit will promote students’ awareness of the daily occurrences of heat transfer which affect their lives, building continuity between laboratory investigations and real world applications and encouraging independent investigation.

Conceptual Themes addressed in this Unit:

  • Energy
  • Properties of Matter