Designed to SUPPLEMENT and add FUN to an existing thermal energy unit!
Includes great activities with easy supplies and an engaging cumulative project.
SAVE 30% when you bundle these 6 heat activities!
Supports NGSS MS-PS3-3 and MS-PS3-4.
Particle Motion Mini-Lab
Fun Thermal Expansion Lab
Quick and Easy Thermal Expansion Activity
Easy Modeling Convection Currents Lab
Insualtor Conduction Lab - Simple Supplies
STEM Insulating Device Project
Particle Motion Mini-Lab:
This is a mini-lab activity that is designed to be completed and reviewed in one class period. The materials are very simple - thermometers, cups and food coloring. Students get the opportunity to practice measuring temperature as well as observing how water temperature affects the speed at which food colorings mix. Includes the following sections: materials, procedure, data table, and analysis (including claims/evidence/reasoning section). Analysis focuses on how particle motion is affected by temperature.
Fun Thermal Expansion Lab:
Engaging and hands-on, but uses very UNcomplicated supplies! You need balloons, a ruler, and cold water - that's it! Use this quick activity to teach about thermal expansion and particle motion.
Quick and Easy Thermal Expansion Activity:
This simple activity can be used as an easy take home laboratory and counted as a homework assignment, or modify it to be done in class using ice instead of a freezer. Students follow a simple procedure with a bottle (soda plastic, glass - they all work) and a coin, and then observe thermal expansion in action! They then fill in blanks explaining what happens in terms of particles. Each sheet contains 2 assignments, so you make half the copies and cut the papers in half. Assignment contains instructions and quick concept review.
Easy Modeling Convection Currents Lab:
This lab is very effective as either a student investigation or a teacher demonstration of convection currents. The supplies are simple - hot and cold tap water, large beaker, small cup, rubber band, food coloring, and plastic wrap. The worksheet leads students (or the teacher performing the demonstration) step-by-step through a simple process, and then provides a section for observations and analysis questions. Year after year, this lab proves to be a "light bulb" moment when teaching middle school students about convection currents. There are two very similar versions of this lab provided - one has more of a focus on convection in Earth's mantle and the other is strictly focused on convection currents. Take a look at both and use the one that fits your needs better.
Insualtor Conduction Lab - Simple Supplies:
This thermal energy transfer versus materials type lab results in wonderful graphs that clearly show how different materials act as insulators and conductors when they lose thermal energy at different rates. Also nicely shows that heat transfer occurs until equilibrium. In this lab, students put hot and cold water (separately) in Styrofoam cups, steel soup cans, and glass beakers. (Ask kids to bring in clean soup cans - then you have to eat less soup!) Students measure the temperature of the hot and cold water in the different containers over the course of one class period, and record their data. Because there is time between temperature readings, students are given a detailed drawing assignment (related to the experiment) to complete between readings. Then, students make 3 graphs - one for each container type - with a line for hot water and a line for cold water readings on each container type graph. (The graphs are provided so students only have to label the axis and plot their data.) There are also 5 analysis questions, including a Claims/Evidence/Reasoning section.
STEM Insulating Device Project:
clear, simple instructions lead to GREAT projects! Middle school students shine with this NGSS assignment! This project is designed to fit in with a heat, thermal energy, and insulators and conductors unit - NGSS MS PS3-3. First, students design and construct a device that holds heat. (They can use any materials that they have access to, and therefore don't have to buy anything. Keeping the focus on upcycled, readily available materials helps keep ALL students involved, regardless of their ability to buy supplies at a store.) Second, they test their design by adding a small amount of hot water and measuring the temperature drop over 30 minutes. Includes (1) clear instructions (2) a paper to complete during the testing period, including data table, graph, and analysis and (3) a student-friendly rubric.
Also check out our best-selling NGSS-Aligned Heat Test.
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