Bundle 1: Story of Things

Tier 1: Melting Ice Using Different Materials

Tier 1: Melting Ice Using Different Materials

Objective:

Students will engage in the exploration of thermal transfer in a variety of materials with regard to kinetic energy of molecules. Students will create a diagram model to describe the connection between the materials and thermal conductivity.

Overview:

Students will engage in the exploration of thermal transfer in a variety of materials with regard to kinetic energy of molecules. Students will be measuring the rate at which ice will melt on a wide variety of materials (both synthetic and natural).  Examples of these materials can be, but should not be limited to: variety of metals, wood, plastic, styrofoam, paper, cardboard, desk surface, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, drinking straws, paper towel, books, magazines, and glass.  Students should be encouraged to brainstorm a minimum of five surfaces for their testing phase.

Big questions:

As a class and in small groups, they will explore, compare and contrast various insulating materials, asking some of the following big questions along the way:

  • Why do some materials help us insulate ice better than others?
  • How could two things have the same temperature, but one feels warmer than the other?

Standards addressed:

MS-PS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.

Tier in depth:

Part I: 

MS-PS3-3: Examples of these materials can be, but should not be limited to:  variety of metals, wood, plastic, styrofoam, paper, cardboard, desk surface, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, drinking straws, paper towel, books, magazines, and glass. Students should be encouraged to brainstorm a minimum of 5 surfaces for their testing phase.

Allow students to touch a piece of aluminum metal (or other metal) and piece of wood. Ask “Which one FEELS colder?” and “Which do you think would melt an ice cube the fastest?” Either allow them to conduct that investigation, or watch this video. Use the procedure described in this video to transition from the phenomena into an investigation.

Students should create a diagram model to describe the connection between the materials and thermal conductivity. Model information should include the surface, information on molecular kinetic energy, direction and flow of the thermal energy, and information on the effect on the ice cube.

Part II-Discussion of Results: 

Students should share models and findings with their peers and teacher.  Class discussions can occur to clear up any misconceptions and allow for class agreement on how the thermal energy is transferring in/out of the various materials. Evidence for student findings should emphasize molecular kinetic motion as well as quantitative data from temperature results.

 

Experts:

 

Solutions:

 

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