In this lab rotation, students go through a series of experiments involving conduction, convection, and radiation in which they identify evidence of each. Students have already been introduced to heat transfer in a previous lesson (How Does Heat Move?). In this lab rotation, I ask students to complete fully developed paragraphs as their responses so that they can practice constructing explanations and engage in arguments from evidence. If you hold students to this level of expectation for their responses, this lesson will take two class periods.
This lesson addresses the following NGSS and Common Core Standards:
MS-PS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
MS-PS3-4 Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
MS-PS3-5 Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
During this lab rotation, students must follow procedures to carry out investigations (SP3). As they complete this, they construct and interpret graphical displays of data (SP4 ) and then use qualitative and quantitative data as evidence to prove which type of energy transfer they observed (SP7). In doing this, students gain an understanding that the transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system (Cross Cutting Concept: Energy and Matter).
Ask students, "What are you going to be learning today?". Students should respond with the essential question, "How does energy transfer through various systems in the natural world?" (I keep this posted on the board. Students also have it in their Unit Plan).
Explain that the students will specifically be introduced to Skills 3, 4, and 5 listed in the Unit Plan:
Then, ask the students to make as many connections during the lab to the following ideas/concepts:
Remind them if at any point during the lab they connect to any of these ideas, they should share that connection with you or a fellow student!
This lab station rotation asks students to identify evidence of radiation, convection and conduction. Students write well developed paragraphs and cite text that connect to the lab stations. In a previous lesson, students "talked to the text" to identify some textual evidence of heat transfer. They will use this resource to answer the questions here. This article along with a copy of an article that a student "talked to the text" on is included. (Interested about talking to the text? Here is a quick modeling session I did with my kids with this article.)
Procedures for all of these labs are contained in the student lab document. Display these procedures from the document at the lab stations so that students can refer to them as they work at each station. With the whole group, go over each station and the safety precautions involved.
Station A: Convection Box
Students must wear goggles while performing this task.
If any item is on fire and a student is concerned, students should place that object in the sink.
Station B: Radiometer
Station C: Conduction Rod
Students must be careful with the boiling water. Students must wear safety gloves to handle the hot water containers.
You can purchase a conduction apparatus here.
Station D: Conductometer
Wear safety goggles!
Hot wax can burn! Do not touch!
This "exit slip" of sorts I use as a closure for the first day of the lab rotation. Then, I use it on the second day to promt a discussion about misconceptions and to form conference groups. After class, I sort the students completed diagrams into groups of learners with similar needs.
Prior to completing this formative assessment, students have been working towards mastery on drawing diagrams as scientific representations. For some insight into this previous instruction, check out Potentially Amazing Lab Rotations. It includes a video of a mini lesson on drawing diagrams.
Below is an example of a student's work:
A few things I look for in diagrams:
1. A title: This student actually forgot a title when she turned it in and added the title "Heat Transfer in Oceans" when she received feedback from me.
2. Labels: Students should label radiation, convection, and conduction accurately on the picture.
3. Caption: In the caption, the student should explain where radiation, conduction and convection are occurring. Their caption should indicate an understanding of why they know each type of heat transfer is occurring.
4. Purpose: All of the criteria listed above (title, labels, and caption) should serve the purpose of the diagram. Students can get "off track" and focus on one type of heat transfer instead of relating to all of them or refer to irrelevant information. The key to purpose is taking the time to break down the question to identify what is required of them.
When I assess these, I separate them into piles of similar learners and pull small groups the following day to discuss common misconceptions. For example, I may meet with a group that needed to work on developing explanations in their captions, a group that needs help finding the purpose, and a group that is forgetting the importance of titles/labels.
This can also help me identify common misconceptions among my students that I need to address before the second day of this lab rotation.
Below are some videos that go through some student work and an explanation of the acronym "ABCDE" that I use to help students format their scientific explanations. The videos will help you gain an understanding of this format, student exemplars, and feedback to provide the students. While the videos do not describe all of the stations, it will give you enough insight to see the patterns in the student work samples I included in the resources so you can identify them with your own students. The student work samples in the resource section do include student work for all of the lab stations.
Station A: ABCDE
Station C: Data! Use it!