These stations are the perfect way to use the Next Generation Science Standards (MS-PS3-3) to teach about heat energy in your curriculum. They also happen to be one of my favorite activities because they are engaging, they help students construct meaningful understanding using prior knowledge and real observations about heat, and they are memorable! Every year, I have students ask if they can stay after school to try some of the stations again, or to show a friend what they learned. I also hear kids in the hallways saying "I can't wait for science today!"
Carrying out all 10 stations may require a few purchases of reasonably priced materials on Amazon or a science supply company, but once you have these few items, the take-away for your students is totally worth it! I do this lab with my students while we are studying the properties of matter, and throughout the year, I often hear my students refer back to the properties of heat that they learned from this activity. They see for themselves the properties of conduction, convection, radiation, and thermal expansion at work! They are also exposed to the concepts of heat moving down the gradient from hotter to less hot, friction as a force that turns motion into heat, and "cold" as simply the absence of heat!
I have included the editable student packet, the station signs, set-up directions including links for purchasing any materials that may not be in your classroom, and scientific explanations for all 10 stations that I use. But you can pick and choose the ones that you are able to do depending on the materials at your disposal and/or time!
Thanks for looking!