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MSP 2007-2009 Science Lesson

Heat Energy
GPS Standard:
S3P1 Students will investigate how heat is produced and the effects of heating and cooling, and
will understand a change in temperature indicates a change in heat.

a. Categorize ways to produce heat energy such as burning, rubbing (friction), and mixing
one thing with another.
b. Investigate how insulation affects heating and cooling.
c. Investigate the transfer of heat energy from the sun to various materials.
d. Use thermometers to measure the changes in temperatures of water samples (hot, warm,
cold) over time.

Unit Essential Questions:

How is heat produced, and what are the effects of it?

Colored Water – recording temperatures every 15 minutes or throughout the day.
Materials: 3 jars/bottles, pitcher of cold water, food coloring, thermometers
• Record the temperature of the pitcher of cold water.
• Color one jar of water light red, one bottle dark blue, and leave the third jar clear.
• Place the jars side by side outdoors in direct sunlight.
• Record the temperatures of each jar in 15 minute intervals for one hour.
What happened to the temperature of the water in each jar? Which color had the highest
temperature? Why? What does this tell us about what colors we should wear in the hot
and/or cold weather?

Friction Produces Heat

Materials: two blocks of wood, container with a lid, sand (BB’s can also be used), Styrofoam
cups, sand, a thermometer, and your hands, film canisters, balloons, sand paper
a. Each student will touch their face with their hands. They will then vigorously rub their hands
together for a minute. Touch your hands to your face. Make observations and write them down
on the graphic organizer.

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b. Feel the surface of the two wood blocks. Rub the two blocks together vigorously for a minute.
Touch the wood blocks with your hand. Make observations and write them down on the graphic
c. Fill one of the Styrofoam cups with sand and measure the temperature of the sand with a
thermometer. Record the temperature on your paper. Place the inverted second cup on top of the
cup with sand. Tape the cups together to seal them together. Shake the sand for one minute and
then open the cups and measure the temperature. What did you observe? Record the temperature
after shaking.

Alternate or Additional: BBs and film canisters. Feel the temperature of the BBs. Put assorted
number of BBs in film canisters. Vary the number of BBs in each canister (1/2 full, ¾ full, 1/5
full, etc). Shake the canisters for several minutes and then feel the BBs for the change in
temperature. You can add sand to the canisters to produce more heat from the friction.

Heat From Friction

balloon experience (1 balloon per child needed)
Inflate balloons and have pairs of students rub the balloons together. One balloon will eventually
pop from the friction and heat created.
Explanation: The friction between the two balloons made one balloon so hot that part of it
Sandpaper experience (2 sheets of fine sandpaper)
Rub 2 sheets of fine sandpaper together. There will be enough heat produced that you will not
want to put your hands on them.

Notes: This demonstrates mechanical energy producing heat energy. (friction)
Heat is the flow of energy from one material to another.
Heat moves from warm to cold.
Heating will cause the molecules in the warmed object to move faster.
Temperature is the measure of how hot or cold something is due to the motion of the molecules.
1. Heat and temperature are the same thing.
2. Heat energy can be lost.
3. Insulators make things hot or cold.
4. Heat is generated from materials such as wool.
5. Heat is the amount of thermal energy in an item.
6. Temperature is a measure of thermal energy.
7. Heat energy is transferred between objects.
8. Insulators slow the transfer of heat energy between objects.
9. Gloves, blankets, coats, etc do not contain heat.
10. Materials such as wool are insulators not heat generators.

Everyday Applications
 Mechanical devices get warm when they move due to the friction.

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 Our bodies warm up by shivering, shivering is a mechanical process.
 Sandpaper used on wood to make it smooth is a mechanical process.
 Tires heat up on vehicles as they move on the pavement.
 Animals store fat (example: blubber) to keep themselves warm.
 Buildings use materials to prevent the transfer of energy.
Cross Curricular Connections
Technology- Styrofoam cups are used to prevent the transfer of heat energy. Wearing gloves and
coats in the winter will prevent the loss of heat from our body.
Social Studies- Egyptians had an underground heating system that used water. Dow Chemical
Company in the mid-50s introduced polystyrene foam as an insulator for houses instead of

Chemical Change Produces Heat

Expand and Contract – Balloon experiment
1. Stretch opening of balloon over soda bottle.
2. Place bottle in bucket of warm water. What happens to balloon?
3. Move the bottle to a bucket of cold water. What happens to the balloon?
4. Make a diagram to explain the changes in balloon. Label w/ expand and contract.

Notes: This demonstrates a series of chemical energy producing heat energy.
Chemical energy can be produced by mixing two or more substances together.
Chemical energy can be produced by the breakdown of food for our bodies to use as fuel.
Heat energy can cause changes in states of matter.
Everyday Applications
 Hot packs and cold packs are chemical reactions that are helpful when we need instant heat.
 Eating food is a chemical reaction that is needed for us to obtain energy for our bodies. Heat
is produced during the digestive process.
 Fire is an example of chemical energy used to warm.
 Batteries in a flashlight produce a chemical reaction to give off light.
 Cars use gas to fuel their engines.
Cross Curriculum Connections
 Health- digestion of food is critical to fuel, heat and operate our bodies
 Technology-Reading a thermometer to measure the temperature

Experiment –
Transfer of Energy
Melt Away (small groups)
Materials: ice cubes, chart paper, timers, markers, Styrofoam plates
Divide class into groups and the team’s ice cube that melts first wins. Groups create a plan for
melting their ice cube faster than the other groups. Groups will time each ice cube until it
completely melts and the class will graph and discuss the results.

Controlling Heat to Keep it Hot

What materials make the best insulation?

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Mrs. Check’s problem- (2 day project if you allow groups to read the problem and bring
materials from home) OR (1 day project if you provide materials for them to use.) thermometers,
hot water, cups, materials from the student’s homes to use to insulate OR you provide a variety
of materials.

Read Mrs. Check’s problem aloud to students. Groups will devise something to keep Mrs.
Check’s “coffee’ from turning cold.

Mrs. Check works in the library at school. Every morning when she gets to school, she fills her
cup with hot coffee. She loves hot coffee. All the teachers hurry into the library to find books to
help their students learn. Mrs. Check loves helping teachers find just the right book. All the
students hurry into the library to find new books for projects, to help them solve problems, and
just for reading. Mrs. Check loves helping students find just the book they need. The phone
rings, the computer beeps, and the fax machine whirs. Mrs. Check answers the phone, works on
the computer, and delivers a fax. Mrs. Check loves being busy. What a morning! Mrs. Check
takes a sip of her coffee. ICK! The coffee is cold. Mrs. Check does not love cold coffee.

How air and and fat can control the flow of heat into ice water.
The Inspiration of Insulation
Materials: spoon, large bowl of ice water, plastic bags, cotton balls (12-15 per bag), solid
shortening, plastic gloves

Polar Bear Blanket

Students will test cotton fibers to represent polar bear fur. How do polar bears keep warm
in the Arctic?
Zip cotton balls in one bag. Working with a partner, hold hands out palms up. Put the blanket
(bag of cotton balls) on your palms. Put the ice bag on top. Does your hand feel cold? Remove
the blankets. Put the ice bag on top of your palms. Does your hand feel cold?

Air spaces in polar bears’ fur trap body heated air. How are cotton balls like polar bear

Walrus Mitt
Students will use a hand sealed inside a layer of fat to imitate walrus blubber.
Turn an empty bag inside out and place it inside another bag filled with shortening. Zip the two
bags together to make a Walrus Mitt. Spread the shortening out evenly. Put one hand in the
Walrus Mitt and the other hand inside an empty bag. Plunge both into a container of ice water.
Which is colder?
Explanation: Walruses keep warm in icy cold water because the blubber slows the
movement of body heat.

Solar Bead Experiments - Suggested activities:

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Experiment #1 Sunscreen and solar energy bead (old and new sunscreen)
Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. coat the beads with sunscreen and place on a paper plate in
the sun. What happens? Did the beads change colors, or did the sunscreen protect them from
ultraviolet light? Is your sunscreen effective in keeping out harmful rays?
Experiment #2 Pill bottle and solar energy bead
Experiment #3 Solar energy beads in clear jars
Experiment #4 Sunglasses and solar energy beads

Radiation energy is used to heat, light and grow things.
Our sun is the original source of our heat energy.
Heat energy can be produced by rubbing, burning, and mixing.
Everyday Applications
 Amphibians and reptiles use light to warm their bodies.
 Solar lights collect energy during the day to be used at night.
 Light produces heat energy that can be used as mechanical energy.
 Cooking by light is an energy efficient way to economically prepare food (ex: easy bake

Cross Curriculum Connections

 Technology-Light energy is used to cook, heat, and light our homes and buildings. Using
solar energy is a way to prevent the loss of nonrenewable energy resources.
 Health-Light energy is needed to help our body produce the vitamin D.

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