Using inquiry-focused reading, students will explore an anchor text and supporting resources to investigate the principles of transfer of heat energy with applications of the concept to solve real world problems.
The instructors will prepare a sample presentation and model for students the steps taken to go from a text to the final project. Students will learn annotations, two column notes, and citations, while learning about how chemistry is used to solve real world problems based on the instructor provided materials. The students will then apply those concepts to a different project assigned by the instructors and apply the same strategies to their own texts to demonstrate their application of learning to a different problem.
Over the course of the unit, students will explore a variety of resources to develop their knowledge of heat energy changes that accompany physical and chemical reactions, measurement of heat energy, and heat energy transfer between the system and the surroundings. They will expand their ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research, explore scientific literature, and develop questions to determine how the application of energy transfer principles can be applied to solve real world problems.
Applied Science
High School
Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study
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Date Added:
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Media Format:
Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML


Jessica Eakin on Oct 12, 09:13am

I liked the connection to real world applications such as hand warmers and cold packs. One thing that wasn't as clear to me was how the articles students annotated were selected. Was that done by the student or the teacher? And if by the student, what was the evaluation process or is that a skill that has been introduced in the past?

Katie Gadwah @Jessica Eakin on Oct 18, 11:48am

They were teacher provided resources specifically aligned to the assigned lab. So a student may be assigned a lab which was the equivalent of a hand warmer reaction then be assigned an article to read about how hand warmers work. We hoped to have students do some independent discovery but were pressed for time.

Marlene Damery on Oct 02, 04:29pm

This looks like a fun lesson! The anchor text was a great way to hook the students into thinking about how to solve real world problems.
The end results of a visual representation of understood knowledge is a great idea. I wonder if there was a lesson provided on the various info graphic tools. I can easily see this as a mini lesson or an online guide.
Teamwork and leadership were apparent in the description of each person's role. Congratulations!

Katie Gadwah @Marlene Damery on Oct 18, 11:51am

I did provide instruction on using Piktochart for creating infographics, integrating cited resources, and finding and citing appropriate images.

Charles Swift on Sep 29, 02:59pm

I really like your anchor text "Refrigeration, the African Way". It does a wonderful job showing a real world problem being solved by the application of scientific understanding. I also really like that it highlights an issue that students growing up in a technologically advanced country would not know exists in other parts of the world. It is a rich article that provides a lot of areas to hook a students interests.

In your text set description, the zeer pot refrigeration text dependent questions are referencing a video. I did not find any videos when I clicked on the link to the text.

I wonder about how well the students work leading up to and including the project/presentation connects back to the essential question. The essential question talks about energy being captured and measured, but I am not seeing how these items are being addressed. At the top of your rubric you have "this presentation will illustrate how energy is transformed in order to solve a real world problem", I wonder if perhaps rewording this statement to be your essential question might align closer with the lessons and the students end product.

Could you describe the lab the students are doing?
Are the student researching topics or are they only choosing from the list provided in your lesson plan?
Do students have prior knowledge about endo/exo-thermic reactions? Do they know about phase changes? I am assuming based on the time frame for this activity they this information is already prior knowledge and wonder if you may want to include it under Part VIII.

I think this project is a great way to make science real for students. It pulls all academic disciplines together in a nice synthesis. Allowing all students an opportunity to apply their academic passions to this project.

Pam Harland on Sep 22, 09:31am

Very cool project! On your Energy Transformations Project Rubric: perhaps a change in the descriptions to reflect what you WOULD accept from a student instead of describing what not to do. Something like: "A simple Piktochart was created" for IE and then each level of proficiency adds complexity and greater understanding of the content.

Is there a place where students are prompted to ask their own questions? I like to use the Question Formulation Technique (QFT) http://www.nsrfharmony.org/sites/default/files/Book.Review.Make_.Just_.One_.Change.pdf

I'm excited to share your project with our Chemistry and Earth Science teachers!

Katie Gadwah @Pam Harland on Oct 18, 11:55am

Thank you, Pam. Great suggestion.


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