Reflection: Real World Applications Specific Heat Virtual Labs - Section 1: Introduction


Within my science classroom I love being able to have students perform lots of lab activities, but not every lesson coincides with performing an actual "wet" lab.  I have found that virtual labs are great for a number of reasons:

  1. Virtual labs require little set up.  You will not be sticking around to all hours setting up a lab for your students because all you need is access to computers and possibly bookmarking the websites for students.
  2. Virtual labs are cheap.  You do not need to buy chemicals or lab equipment for these labs.
  3. Students can perform experiments that are not possible in your classroom.  For example in this calorimetry lab our class calorimeters will not work for many food types and have high sources of error so do not give students good enough data to determine the relative Calories of samples.

There are also some drawbacks to virtual labs:

  1. These labs are hard to find, especially ones that work for your specific classroom setup.  For example in my classroom I have old emac computers where some labs do not work.  Next year some of my students will start to have iPads but again not all of these labs work on iPads either.
  2. Many of these labs are confusing so you need to make sure to help students with them.
  3. Depending on your classroom setup students may be in larger groups so need to make sure that all of their partners are helping with choosing what to click with the mouse and can see the computer.
  4. They should not be a replacement for all wet labs as that students need to have hands-on experience with chemistry lab equipment and chemicals.

  The use of virtual vs. actual "wet" labs
  Real World Applications: The use of virtual vs. actual "wet" labs
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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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