Spinning Spiral Trick (Energy Transfer Phenomenon)

Contributor
Youtube: Awesomesocks444
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This YouTube video shows how to create a paper spiral that will spin as a result of heat produced from a lamp using an incandescent bulb. Teachers can use this video to recreate the device and perform a classroom demonstration to introduce, elaborate, or elicit student understanding as it pertains to heat, light, and electrical energy transfer.  Students will be able to use their observations to ask questions and make claims about where the energy comes from to move the spiral and where it goes.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

4-PS3-2 Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of energy.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
After observing this phenomenon, students will have a foundation for investigating energy transfer. It may provide an opportunity for question collection, or the teacher may guide the discussion, asking students how they know there is energy present in the system, where it comes from, and where it goes. Student questions may be used throughout a unit on energy to drive investigations. For example, students might investigate the effects of different bulbs or a dimmer switch on the amount of energy produced. If students compare incandescent and energy efficient bulbs, they will find that incandescent bulbs produce more heat, and thus more motion in the spiral. The teacher may want to highlight design of energy efficient bulbs which decrease the amount of energy lost to heat and increase the light production. A candle could also be used in a demo to launch a discussion of fossil fuels. (The energy in a candle comes from petroleum.)

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
This phenomenon could be used to launch student investigations related to energy because it includes so many examples of energy transfer. Electricity in the light circuit is transformed as the filament heats up and produces light. The air is then heated, causing it to move which causes the spiral to move. In addition the room is illuminated. Each of these cause and effect relationships could be investigated further.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This phenomenon allows students to observe and consider several ways in which energy is transferred.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This phenomenon may be used to introduce the concepts of energy transfer within a system. Students will see that the parts of the system work together, and changes to one part cause changes to the whole system.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -