Reflection: Real World Applications Designing a Melting Device Lab - Section 4: Evaluate


This was my first real attempt at having students do engineering in my chemistry class:

  • Overall I feel that the lesson went fairly well.  Students were interested in the project and by the end of the lesson understood how specific heat capacity could be used in the "real world".
  • Students quickly bought into the lesson and were excited to try to "win" by having the best melting device.
  • During the lesson as students were building their devices I was a little disappointed that they did not think about heat capacity as a tool for determining which materials to use.  Only several groups within all of my classes went onto the computers to look up heat capacities of the materials when they were choosing what materials to use.   I was surprised because this lesson came immediately after a lesson where students learned about heat capacity and how substances with low heat capacity are better at transferring energy! 
  • Because I noticed that students weren't linking heat capacity with melting the ice cube I made sure to stop and discuss the results with students before they performed the analysis questions.  I revisited the definition of heat capacity as how much energy it takes to heat up a substance and that the substances which helped the ice cube melt the best had low heat capacities.
  • When students wrote their analysis many of them used the term specific heat when discussing how they would improve their devices so I feel that the objective of the lesson was met.

  First time doing engineering in chemistry
  Real World Applications: First time doing engineering in chemistry
Loading resource...

Designing a Melting Device Lab

Unit 5: Unit 6: Energy
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to design, build, and test a device to best melt an ice cube.

Big Idea: The heat capacity of a substance can be used to engineer a melting device.

  Print Lesson
2 teachers like this lesson
Science, Chemistry, Exothermic Reactions, heat capacity, engineering, heat, temperature, specific heat
  65 minutes
melting device picture
Similar Lessons
LAB: Is This Reaction Endothermic or Exothermic?
High School Chemistry » Thermodynamics
Big Idea: Measured changes in temperature can help us classify chemical reactions as either endothermic or exothermic.
Los Angeles, CA
Environment: Urban
Emilie Hill
Roller Coaster Inquiry
High School Physics » Energy
Big Idea: To investigate how energy trasnfers throughout a system like a roller coaster.
Park Ridge, IL
Environment: Suburban
Anna Meyer
Introduction to Physics via Thermodynamics
High School Physics » Thermodynamics
Big Idea: Science is exploratory, iterative, and surprising.
Woodstock, VT
Environment: Rural
Timothy Brennan
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload