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Chemistry

c is for Camping, and heat capacity

Submitted by montessorimichael on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 20:51

Students use warm soup (must be lower than 70°C since this is the upper limit of the pocketlab temperature sensor). To determine it's specific heat capacity and decide which is best to take on a camp so it is still warm when they go for lunch.  I tend to use this as a follow on project from investigating insulating materials so students can re use previous projects such as 'stubby holder' style devices which have kept drinks cool to reinforce ideas about heat transfer (and so that projects aren't wasted!). 

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Grade Level

Using PocketLab to Investigate Newton's Law of Cooling

Submitted by Rich on Wed, 06/28/2017 - 00:14

In this experiment students will use PocketLab to collect data related to the cooling of a container of hot water as time goes on.  Sir Isaac Newton modeled this process under the assumption that the rate at which heat moves from one object to another is proportional to the difference in temperature between the two objects, i.e., the cooling rate = -k*TempDiff.  In the case of this experiment, the two objects are water and air. Newton showed that TempDiff = To * exp(-kt), where TempDiff is the temperature difference at time t and To is the temperature difference at time zero.

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Grade Level

Investigating Boyle's Law with PocketLab

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 21:09

With a pressure sensor built into PocketLab, there must surely be some way to investigate Boyle's Law.  This law states that pressure and volume of an ideal gas are inversely proportional to one another provided that the temperature and amount of gas are kept constant within a closed system.  What is needed is a closed system that is large enough to hold PocketLab in a way that pressure can be sensed while changing the volume of the enclosed gas (in our case, air).

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Grade Level

Investigating Gay-Lussac's Law and Absolute Zero of Temperature with PocketLab and a Mason Jar

Submitted by Rich on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 20:59

Gay-Lussac's Law states that when the volume of a container of gas is held constant, while the temperature of the gas is increased, then the pressure of the gas will also increase.  In other words, pressure is directly proportional to the absolute temperature for a given mass of gas at constant volume.  Although this is, strictly speaking, true only for an ideal gas, most gases that surround us behave much like an ideal gas.  Even ordinary air, which is a mixture of gases, can behave like an ideal gas.

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Grade Level

Pressure and Volume with a Syringe

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:11

Exploration 

Explore air pressure and how it works. In a sealed syringe, as the plunger moves back and forth, the volume of air in the syringe changes. With a large enough syringe, a PocketLab can be placed inside to measure the change in pressure as the the volume changes.

Objective

In this experiment, students will:
1. Determine the relationship between air pressure and volume using a syringe.
2. Explore what is happening to the air molecules when there is a greater or less air pressure.

Grade Level

What is temperature?

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:02

Exploration

What does it mean to change temperature? What is temperature? We know what it means to be hot or cold, but what does it mean when you measure the temperature of an item?

Objective

In this experiment, students will:
1. Understand how the temperature of the water is related to the movement (kinetic energy) of the water molecules.
2. Use observations to describe the principle of thermal expansion.

Download PDF for complete lab activity 

Measuring Pressure Change from Chemical Reaction

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 16:49

Exploration

After a change occurs, if the molecules of the chemicals involved do not change, it is only a physical change. Ice melting to water is an example of this. A change has occurred, but the H2 0 as ice, remains H2 0 as water. If however the molecules of the chemicals involved do change to form new chemicals, then a chemical change has occurred.

Grade Level

Pressure and Volume with a Syringe and Flask

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 16:44

Exploration

Explore air pressure, temperature, and volume and how they work together. In a syringe sealed to an Erlenmeyer flask , when the syringe’s plunger moves back and forth, the volume of air in the syringe and f ask changes. Will the pressure also change if the temperature of the air sealed in the syringe and f ask changes? A PocketLab can be placed inside the Erlenmeyer f ask to measure the change in pressure as the the volume and temperature change. 

Objective

Grade Level

Energy Transfer: Kinetic Energy to Thermal Energy

Submitted by PocketLab on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 19:09

Exploration

The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant. Over time, all energy is conserved. It is neither created nor destroyed-instead it transfers from one form to another. When shaking a jar of sand, what happens to the temperature of the sand? Explore how this relates to the law of conservation of energy.

Objective

Grade Level