# Physics Calorimetry Lab

Contributor
Mr. Liang/San Ramon Valley High School
Type Category
Assessment Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity
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.

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## Description

This resource presents the students with three small activities which are all disguised as challenges. The first activity, "Deactivating the Bomb," requires the students to determine how much hot water to add to a beaker of cool water so that the final temperature rises to 37 degrees Celsius. For every degree that the students miss the final temperature by, they lose a point. The second activity, "How Hot is that Piece of Metal?," challenges the students to devise a method to determine the temperature of a piece of metal without touching it with a thermometer. The third activity, "What's the Specific Heat of my Magical Special Nails?," asks the students to determine the specific heat of a nail. What makes the three activities so great is that they all get to the very core of the Performance Expectation by requiring the students to plan and carry out their own investigations.

Intended Audience

Learner
Educational Level
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

#### Performance Expectations

HS-PS3-4 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on analyzing data from student investigations and using mathematical thinking to describe the energy changes both quantitatively and conceptually. Examples of investigations could include mixing liquids at different initial temperatures or adding objects at different temperatures to water.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to investigations based on materials and tools provided to students.

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

The instructor needs to explicitly state that the students need to use mathematical thinking to determine how to achieve the desired results.

#### Science and Engineering Practices

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

To fully support the Practice, the activity would need to engage the students in model building or at least the revising of models. The instructor could ask the students to create a model that explains the process that occurs in activity one when two liquids of different temperatures are mixed and they then come to an equilibrium temperature.

#### Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

While this activity fully addresses the Disciplinary Core Idea, the instructor should emphasize the idea of objects hotter than their surrounding environment cooling off by holding a class discussion before, during, or after the lab. The instructor could have the students trace the flow of energy by requiring them in their lab report to state which objects cold off and which ones warmed up.

#### 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.