How Will We Freeze the Ice Cream?

Contributor
Evelyn Gray
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Article , Experiment/Lab Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
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

How Do We Freeze Ice Cream? is a free article published in the July 2018 of NSTA’s Science Scope journal detailing a 5-day investigation of endothermic and exothermic reactions.  The first part of the investigation involves stations of chemical reactions to determine whether they are endothermic or exothermic. Students combine the chemicals and analyze data to make this determination.  The second part of the investigation is an engineering design challenge in which students design a device that uses an endothermic reaction to lower the temperature of homemade ice cream in five minutes. Both investigations use readily available materials.  

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

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.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students design and test their device to see how quickly and efficiently it freezes ice cream. Reflecting on how they would improve on their design helps students to enhance their device for more optimal results. Enhancing and testing their revised design based on this reflection would help students to achieve a more optimal result.

MS-PS1-6 Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the design, controlling the transfer of energy to the environment, and modification of a device using factors such as type and concentration of a substance. Examples of designs could involve chemical reactions such as dissolving ammonium chloride or calcium chloride.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to the criteria of amount, time, and temperature of substance in testing the device.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Making ice cream is a powerful motivator for students to work at the design challenge. The 12 station activities serve as an introductory activity to give students hands-on experience with endothermic and exothermic reactions, tying in nicely to the design challenge by providing background. There are also additional background videos posted in the article that would help students review the transfer of energy and endothermic and exothermic reactions. The knowledge probe questions offer students a chance to connect to this background and plan the chemical reaction for the design project.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students design and test their device to see how quickly and efficiently it freezes ice cream. The online supplemental materials offer a design journal to help students document the Reflecting on how they would improve on their design helps students to enhance their device for more optimal results. Revising and testing their revised model based on this reflection would help students to achieve a more optimal design

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The fact that students design and test their ideas with water instead of the actual ice cream gives students more opportunities to optimize their design, both in the endothermic chemical reaction and in the device itself. This gives them a chance to make the most efficient design before they actually use it to freeze the ice cream. The opportunities for discussion, analysis, and reflection offer students a guide to design and test their solution.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
The station investigations offer students a strong background in this DCI, as they experiment with both endothermic and exothermic reactions and differentiate between them. Making the connection between temperature change and energy release or storage explicit will help to cement this idea. The engineering design project offer students the opportunity to experiment with this DCI. The introduction in this article provides an introduction to this DCI for the teacher.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students collection of temperature data gives students an opportunity to observe energy being released and stored during several chemical processes. This gives them many opportunities to interact with endothermic and exothermic reactions, especially in the assessment questions provided in the articl.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Students are asked to design an endothermic reaction and an actual device for the freezing of ice cream, combining both the thermal energy concepts with engineering design and engaging in all three dimensions. The station investigation provides the background necessary to address the DCI and the design challenge offers the chance to experiment and optimize a solution. The reflection opportunities and knowledge probes provided throughout these activities offer students the chance to make the connections explicit.

  • Instructional Supports: Students are engaged in meaningful and authentic learning experiences in the engineering design challenge of designing the device to freeze ice cream, and the knowledge probe questions offer multiple opportunities to connect their own background knowledge. The assessment opportunities in the Assessment section of the article, including the claim and evidence questions that would be included on a unit test, offer students many opportunities to write about their ideas. This resource could be improved with more specific differentiation opportunities focusing on extra support and extension to differentiate this lesson for all learners.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Formative assessment opportunities are offered throughout the lesson. Discussion questions to analyze data and written knowledge probe and reflection questions help to inform instruction and evaluate student understanding and misconceptions. The questions are thoughtfully scaffolded to lead students through the design process and to elicit their understanding of endothermic and exothermic reactions. Rubrics are included on the online supplemental materials.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -