Reflection: Lesson Planning Solar Energy Experiment: Light Transferred to Heat - Section 4: Explore


When preparing this lesson I did not consider the impact that wind might have on the completion of the activity.  When we were outside testing, I quickly learned that wind would have an impact. As you can see from the Video of solar envelope experiment, envelopes and papers are blowing around.  As soon as students set the envelopes down, they began blowing around.  The thermometers were not heavy enough to hold the envelope down.  Students used the edge of their notebooks to hold them down, or the edge of their shoe.  The problem with this is that it changes a variable because the shoe or notebook is now covering part of the envelope.  Had I known this was going to be an issue, I would have had students place clips at the top of every envelope to help add some weight and hold it down.  If I do this lesson over again, I will prepare the clips ahead of time and take them outside with me in case it is windy.  

The wind did not affect the s'mores. The graham crackers and chocolate was enough weight to hold them down.  However, paper towels and chocolate wrappers were blowing around and kids were having to get up and chase them.  

  Lesson Planning: Prepare Ahead
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Solar Energy Experiment: Light Transferred to Heat

Unit 3: Transfer of Energy and Matter Through Organisms in an Ecosystem
Lesson 1 of 14

Objective: SWBAT collect evidence through experimentation that light energy from the sun can be transferred to thermal energy (heat).

Big Idea: Students conduct an experiment testing how various colors absorb different amounts of light by measuring the amount of heat energy created.

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