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Transfer of Thermal Energy Lesson Plan

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*Note: This lab activity was submitted to Ward's Science by a third party educator for the sole purpose of sharing content and ideas with other educators. Ward's Science is not affiliated with the author of this lesson plan. All product recommendations made by Ward's Science are suggestions for completion or extension of the activity or topics addressed, but are not required to complete the activity. Lab Activity Title: Transfer of thermal energy Submitted by: Pam Kraus Recommended Grade Level: Grades 11-12, easily adapted for grades 5-12 Discipline: Physical Science/Chemistry/Physics Topic: Energy and matter Time Requirement: Can be completed in approx. 15 minutes Required Materials: microwave air popper saucepan 2 large bowls unpopped microwave popcorn unpopped popcorn vegetable oil paper towels, paper plates or coffee filters student handout (attached below) National Science Standards Alignment Evidence, models, and explanation; Interactions of energy and matter Procedure Preparation for Activity: Give each student a paper towel, paper plate of coffee filter and have them mark off 3 separate areas and label them microwave, pan and air popper. Student Instructions: 1. Provide as much of an introduction into transfer of thermal energy as is necessary based on previous discussions about thermal energy and energy transfer, but do not explain conduction, convection and radiation at this time. 2. Give each student a handout (see below). 3. Give students a brief overview of the 3 preparation methods you will be using for the popcorn. (Many may not be familiar with air popper, so it often needs a little more explanation.) 4. While teacher prepares popcorn using all three methods--microwave, pan (I use 1/8 c. oil with ½ c. popcorn kernels) and air popper--have students use text to look up definitions for conduction, convection and radiation. Tell them to be thinking about which type of thermal energy transfer is being used in each preparation method. 5. Provide them with a small amount of popcorn prepared by each of the three methods to put in their labeled area on paper towel, paper plate or coffee filter. 6. Have students taste each kind of popcorn while they decide which type of thermal energy transfer was involved in making popcorn using each of the three methods. Have them fill out chart on the handout with this information as well as answer final 2 questions. 7. Use students' responses on handout to generate discussion about the three types of thermal energy transfer, clarifying and providing further explanations as necessary. Recommended Ward's Science Materials

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