This unit focuses on the three laws of thermodynamics. Students also explore endothermic and exothermic reactions and total bond energy.
The first segment in this unit looks at the laws of thermodynamics. The students examine heat-related phenomena of chemical thermodynamics using hot and cold packets, illustrating how thermodynamics work in the real world.
The students formulate hypotheses for the chemical process that makes the hot and cold packets from segment A. Our host explains the difference between exothermic and endothermic reactions, and our students explore the concept of specific heat capacity by predicting whether ice cubes will melt faster when placed on metal or plastic.
In segment C, students learn about thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity and see if their predictions for how fast the ice cubes melt were correct. Our host explains how heat capacity affects the earth's climate, and the students begin an experiment using samples of greenhouse gases.
The teacher and students discuss the data gathered from the greenhouse gases experiment from segment C. An expert from Georgia Power explains how the company uses a device called a calorimeter to measure energy obtained from coal. The students set up their own calorimetry experiments using polystyrene cups to make a "coffee cup calorimeter.”
The students perform the coffee cup calorimetry experiment, gathering data to determine what compounds work best to create hot and cold packs.
In segment F, the students complete the design and engineering task of making hot and cold packs. They draw conclusions about what compounds they can use to create the packs based on their observations and the data they compiled.
Students explore the chemical and physical properties of matter and discover how scientific ideas are connected to each other rather than existing in isolation.
The focus of this unit is to help students understand the condition in which all competing influences counteract each other, resulting in a stable, balanced, or unchanging system.