Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Specific Heat Virtual Labs - Section 4: Elaborate Part II


For this section of the lesson a lot of students had a hard time determining the relationship between temperature and specific heat capacity. 

I was expecting students to clearly see that when the temperature of the substance rose a lot (had a high change in temperature) that the substance had a low specific heat capacity.  The problem was that if students had different masses (they could choose 5g or 10g) or different amounts of energy added (they could choose from 1s to 5s to heat the substance) than the relationship was not as easy to see.

Because of this confusion I have changed the lab for next time I use it.  Here is a copy of the updated lab.  In the directions I specifically tell students to choose 5 grams as the mass and to heat the substance for 3 seconds.   Hopefully this will make it easier for students to see the relationship.

  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Student confusion with relationship between temperature and heat capacity
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Specific Heat Virtual Labs

Unit 5: Unit 6: Energy
Lesson 7 of 9

Objective: Students will be able to calculate the amount of Calories per gram of different foods and determine the specific heat capacity of various substances through performing two virtual labs.

Big Idea: Calorimetry experiments allow scientists to determine the Calories per gram of various foods and determine the specific heat capacities of substances.

  Print Lesson
Science, Chemistry, Exothermic Reactions, calorimetry, specific heat capacity, heat, temperature, specific heat
  95 minutes
calorimetry virtual lab
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