Understanding Thermal Energy in 6th Grade

To understand thermal energy, 6th grade students did a rotation lab where they took the temperature of water in different types of cups – plastic, Styrofoam and glass.  Students touched the outside of the cups to observe the amount of conduction.  Then students found the temperature of different places in the classroom to observe how heat travels and is absorbed differently.  Observations were also made of a lava lamp for convection and then ultraviolet beads were observed in the classroom and outside for radiant energy. Students also observed how cold and hot water interact to form currents! Lastly, students were treated to the classic get the egg in the bottle demonstration to observe the changes in air pressure and how it causes convection.  Questions were answered about what happened and then students were challenged to get the egg back out of the bottle.  After a few attempts from several students, one in each class was successful!

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