Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 2/High School/Benchmark 5
Benchmark Question: How are changes in matter related to
changes in energy?
Focus Question: How do matter and energy change as a
result of heat transfer?
Following a teacher-led
discussion of the three methods of heat transfer, students will work in
small lab groups and will investigate the three methods of heat transfer by
designing and constructing a “box” that minimizes the loss of thermal
energy by conduction, convection, and radiation.
1. Using materials of their choice, groups of students
will construct boxes of given dimensions (30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm). Each box
must hold an aluminum soda can that in turn holds 100 ml of hot water.
2. Groups will write predictions of how their boxes will
minimize thermal energy loss due to conduction, convection, and radiation.
3. The teacher will place 100 ml of hot water into each
4. Each group will measure and record its temperature.
5. Groups will place their can of hot water into their
6. The boxes should be left standing for thirty minutes.
7. Groups will open their boxes and measure and record
the new temperature of the water.
8. Each group will evaluate the success of their project
by comparing the heat loss in their box to that of others’ boxes.
9. Groups will list three ways they would improve their
design based on the results of the tests.
10. Groups will explain the loss of heat in their box by
applying the three different methods of heat transfer through writing and