Reflection: Rigor Specific Heat of a Metal Lab - Section 4: Evaluate


This was the first time that I had my students perform this lab so there are several things that I will change for next time. 

  • This was a fairly complicated lab in terms of written procedures so I will try to have this not be the first lab of the year where students write their own procedures.  Next year I will definitely incorporate procedure writing into first semester, most likely in the introductory unit with something easier like density.
  • I will engage students at the beginning of the lab by showing them the metals and the list of possible metals and ask if they can think of a way to determine what the metals are.  I will expect them to come up with using density (because we did that first semester) but then will explain how we will be using specific heat capacity that we have been learning about in this unit.
  • I will make sure to continue to give students instructions regarding the different types of water with one being to heat up the metal and the other for the calorimeter (there is further explanation of this in the elaborate section)
  • I will make sure to give extra support to students as they are coming up with their procedures and performing their labs so that they really understand the point of the lab.
  • In terms of the written instructions there are several changes I have made for next year and have updated the lab to this revised version.
    • I added in the heat capacity of water in the background.
    • I changed the materials list to reflect more of what students used in the lab.

  Rigor: Lab Revisions- Improvement for Next Time
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Specific Heat of a Metal Lab

Unit 5: Unit 6: Energy
Lesson 9 of 9

Objective: Student will be able to identify an unknown metal through performing an experiment to gather necessary specific heat data.

Big Idea: The specific heat of a substance is unique and allows scientists to determine the substance's identity.

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5 teachers like this lesson
Science, Chemistry, Exothermic Reactions, specific heat, heat, temperature
  80 minutes
specific heat of a metal
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