Bundle 1: Story of Things

Welcome to Bundle 1- Story of Things

Overview:

This investigation contains three components. Tier 1 is designed to engage the learner in exploration of thermal transfer in a variety of materials with regard to kinetic energy of molecules. Tier 2 involves students comparing commercially produced insulating products and engineering their own product to lengthen the solid state of ice.  Tier 3 allows students to build on their prior learning to create a device to cool air temperature, while gaining a greater understanding of the impacts of the materials on society.

Big ideas:

  1. Energy as heat will be transferred from a warmer object to a cooler object until both objects are at the same temperature.
  2. Heat flow is an inevitable consequence of contact between objects of different temperature.
  3. Insulators help minimize thermal transfer, but cannot stop it.
  4. Natural and synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact the environment and society.

Standards addressed:

MS-PS1-3 Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
MS-PS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
MS-ETS1-4 Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Science and Engineering Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
Crosscutting Concepts Patterns: Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

Tiers in depth:

Tier 1:

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.

Tier 2:

Students will bring in commercially produced insulating products, and will do a “virtual dissection” where they research and determine the resources (synthetic and natural) that were used to create their cup. They will then engineer their own product to lengthen the time ice is in its solid state. They will collect data and compare/contrast to other students’ work, as well as already manufactured products that were brought in. Students will take this data to re-design/ re-build their cup, so the optimal design process can be achieved.

Tier 3:

Students will build on their prior learning to create a device to cool air temperature, while gaining a greater understanding of the impacts of the materials on society. Students will plan, build, test, and argue their results with their peers. Student will then select one component of their “air cooling device” and determine where (geographically) the parts of that component came from. Students will share out quantitative and qualitative data regarding their device to determine the success or challenges of their device, as well as participating in a discussion on the impact to society.

 

Time: 

We expect this unit would take a minimum of three weeks and as long as five weeks. Teachers would guide the initial investigations with the whole group in Part 1. Next, the students start asking questions and are allowed to explore the answers to their questions on Thermal Energies in Part 2. The teacher provides students with an engineering challenge using all that was learned in the prior parts in Part 3.

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