This lab is appropriate for chemistry or physics during the unit on thermodynamics. Students burn a peanut and use the thermal energy from it to heat a small amount of water. There is a huge amount of loss to the environment, but don't let that deter you. This is a "cool" lab that gets students excited and engaged. They will calculate the thermal energy absorbed by the water, determine how much energy the peanut should have provided based on the nutritional content on the package label and compare that to how much energy they should have seen transferred.
Keywords: physics, chemistry, thermal energy, thermodynamics, heat, heat transfer, combustion, joules, calories, kilocalories.