In this lesson students design a lab to determine the identity of an unknown metal through using specific heat calculations. This lesson builds on the previous lessons in the unit where students have already learned about specific heat capacity and have performed several calorimetry experiments including finding the heat of fusion of ice, the calories in a Cheeto, the calories of food (virtually), and the heat capacity of various substances (virtually).
For this lesson various resources are needed for each lab group including:
I begin the lesson by having students take several minutes to read over the specific heat of a metal lab paper to themselves.
After several minutes I get students' attention and review the lab with them.
As students perform the lab I walk around to make sure that students are on task, help with questions, and review several parts of the lab that confuse students.
After students have competed their labs I grade them using the Specific Heat of a Metal Lab Rubric.
Here are some examples of graded labs:
From grading the labs I found that the hardest struggle for students was being complete with writing their procedures and correctly plugging in their values for the analysis section.