Big Idea 11: Energy Transfer and Transformations

A. Waves involve a transfer of energy without a transfer of matter.

B. Water and sound waves transfer energy through a material.

C. Light waves can travel through a vacuum and through matter.

D. The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy is conserved as it transfers from one object to another and from one form to another.

General Information
Number: SC.7.P.11
Title: Energy Transfer and Transformations
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 7
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.7.P.11.In.1
Identify that when heat is added or taken away, a temperature change occurs.
SC.7.P.11.In.2
Recognize that one form of energy can change to other forms of energy, such as solar panels change light into electricity.
SC.7.P.11.In.3
Identify examples of the predictable movement of heat, such as hot air rises and heat transfers from hot to cold objects.

Supported

SC.7.P.11.Su.1
Recognize what happens to the temperature when heat is added.
SC.7.P.11.Su.2
Recognize that energy can change forms, such as electricity produces light and heat in a lamp.
SC.7.P.11.Su.3
Identify that heat rises.

Participatory

SC.7.P.11.Pa.1
Recognize that a hot object can make a cold object warm when they touch.
SC.7.P.11.Pa.2
Recognize that electrical devices need energy to work.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Temperature & Turbidity:

This is lesson 3 of 3 in the Goldilocks’ Café Just Right unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” temperature and turbidity level. Students will use both the temperature probe and turbidity sensor and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Turbidity:

This is lesson 2 of 3 in the Just Right Goldilocks’ Café unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” level of turbidity. Students will use turbidity sensors and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Just Right Goldilocks’ Café: Temperature:

This is lesson 1 of 3 in the Just Right Goldilocks’ Café unit. This lesson focuses on systematic investigation on getting a cup of coffee to be the “just right” temperature. Students will use temperature probes and code using ScratchX during their investigation.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Marshmallow Missiles:

In this activity, students will learn the differences between kinetic and potential energy. To measure their understanding, they will complete a lab activity that will help them launch a projectile and compare how the kinetic and potential energy can differ the outcome of the launch. Students will need two 45-minute days to complete this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Introducing the Types of Energy:

The students will investigate how the various forms of energy are transferred into other forms of energy and will use graphic organizers and stations to describe how the energy is being transferred.

Type: Lesson Plan

STEM-Designing an Organ Transport Container:

This is a STEM-Engineering Design Challenge lesson. Students will go through the process of creating an organ transport container using their knowledge of human body systems, heat flow, and volume.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating How Heat Flows:

Students will conduct an investigation in which they will infer the flow of heat between two containers of hot and cold water.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's Just a Phase You are Going Through:

This lesson is a hands-on activity that assists students in developing a deep understanding of how a substance is affected by the absorbing or release of thermal energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

States of Matter:

States of matter seems like a simple concept. Everyone knows that water has a solid phase, which is ice, a liquid phase, which is water, and a gaseous stage, which is water vapor. At this level, students are expected to understand the motion of particles at the molecular level. A thorough understanding of particle motion is necessary in preparation for chemistry in the eight grade standards. This activity is fun at Halloween because families may use dry ice in Halloween displays.

Type: Lesson Plan

Voltaic Pile Lab Activity:

Students will explore the Law of Conservation of Energy by reviewing common forms of energy and how they may be converted to other forms of energy. Students will be guided through this exploration by a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the basic forms of energy and how they may be converted. 

The students will then conduct a lab activity where they build voltaic piles utilizing copper pennies, zinc plated washers, and salt water soaked cardboard. Students will use a voltmeter to record the voltage produced by their voltaic piles, and will experiment utilizing the voltaic piles to power small electronic devices such as LED lightbulbs or flashlights, calculators, piezo buzzers, etc.

Students will then complete five (5) Lab Journal Activities/Questions in their Lab Journals, and one Real World Challenge question on a separate sheet of paper. The Real World Challenge Question will challenge the students to apply the knowledge gained from the lesson to a life or death real world scenario.

Type: Lesson Plan

Building a Motor:

Students will be able to demonstrate the Law of Conservation of Energy by building a miniature motor. They will demonstrate that the chemical energy in the battery is converted to electromagnetic energy (with the electrons moving up the metal clips on the side), and then mechanical energy (with the copper enamel wire spinning in the center).

Type: Lesson Plan

CATAPULTS!:

After learning about Energy Transformations and the Law of Conservation of Energy, students will be tasked with building a catapult that is capable of demonstrating these relationships. In addition, students will be able to gather data of distance traveled for the projectiles (marble and large marsh mellow) to traverse the predetermined trajectory.  Once data is tabulated, students will then graph, analyze, and report their results.

 

 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy Transformations at Santa's Enchanted Forest:

This activity allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding on forms of energy and transformations in a fun way. This lesson is based on an annual carnival in the community during the Christmas season. After learning about different forms of energy, how the transform from one to another, and the Law of Conservation of Energy they apply that to some of their favorite and popular rides at the carnival. This lesson allows for the arts in S.T.E.A.M. to be addressed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Transformation of energy at the level of microprocessors:

This is a lesson plan that will help students to understand that the Law of Conservation is applicable to all systems in nature, including their cell phone that they use regularly. It means that energy, though it might seem to have been created or destroyed, is actually conserved, but simply transformed from one form to another.

Type: Lesson Plan

Daring Dive:

This resource is designed for students to better understand energy. It is designed to teach students using a more engaging and hands-on approach by having students examine the energy transformations during a bungee jump (by building a model bungee cord with rubber bands).

Type: Lesson Plan

Who will have the hottest lunch?:

The scientific method has not only helped scientists but also helped engineers create a design process to solve problems. Within this lesson students will be introduced to the idea that there is not a single design process that is better or more useful that another. Although the process goes by many names, the essential elements are the same, and using a design process to solve problems helps us achieve an optimal solution. A design process should encourage the students to consider as many of the possible solutions. Students will evaluate design processes and will use them to guide their actions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Transfer:

This lesson incorporates a power point and student activity sheets to teach heat flow. It is a 45 minute lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

How is Energy Transferred?:

This lesson will differentiate the three forms of energy transfer. Students will learn about radiation, convection and conduction. Students will learn about different examples for each type of energy transfer. Students will create a foldable in their process of learning the information. Students will be assessed in small groups.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Heat it Up!:

This lesson is intended to teach students to recognize what happens when heat is added or removed from a system. This plan shows how heat flows in predictable ways, and helps students overcome their misconceptions. Teachers will gain insight into their students' understanding, and misunderstanding of heat and temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

This Jar is TOO Difficult to Open!!:

In this lesson, students will review the basic ideas of heat, the direction it flows, and the results of this flow on the kinetic energy and expansion of the particles. Students will investigate this concept in a 5E lesson format using claim, evidence, reasoning in their conclusion. They will determine how different temperature water baths effects the ease/difficulty of opening jars with tight fitting lids and link these results to the knowledge that heat flows from warmer to cooler materials. Applying the knowledge that increasing the amount of heat of the matter will increase the kinetic energy of it's particles, will result in expansion of that matter. Because each type of matter has a different coefficient of expansion, the amount of expansion will vary in different materials. Students will realize that a jar with a tight fitting lid may loosen if hot water is applied.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Almighty!:

This lab experiment was designed to allow students a visual, hands-on and real life experience with the concept of the effects of heat transfer in a closed system. It will work very well as a unit or lesson introduction but can be used at any point during a unit on heat transfer. Students will be observing the behavior of water molecules as heat is added to a closed system. In addition, students will be predicting and estimating the amount of evaporation that occurs when water is heated in a sealed flask by measuring the amount of condensation that is collected in a second, connected flask.

Type: Lesson Plan

Solar Oven Bakery:

The students will investigate how radiation from the sun allows us to bake cookie dough. The students will also determine if the volume of the box determines the time it will take for the cookie dough to bake. The students will also create a graph of the data collected while the cookie dough is baking in the solar oven.

Type: Lesson Plan

The D'Fence Project:

This activity will help students with practicing critical thinking, calculating density, will reinforce Physical Properties of Matter and will lead them to understand the role of heat in the changes of the state of matter.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spread the Sunshine MEA:

In this MEA, the sun is asking students to provide an advertisement explaining how the sun's energy is used to provide energy every second of every day. Students are asked to provide many examples of how solar energy is transformed into electrical, thermal, and other types of energy. Students are then asked to develop a presentation for the media outlet of their choosing. This MEA can be scaled down for differentiation, or used as is for a challenge to engage students in a rigorous fun activity.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Frozen Treats Storage Dilemma:

In this MEA, students must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best storage cooler for their frozen treats. The main focus of the MEA is to apply scientific knowledge and describe that heat flows in predictable ways. Students will analyze data in order to arrive at a scientifically sound solution to the problem.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Marble Run – Kinetic and Potential Energy:

Students investigate and explore kinetic and potential energy on a roller coaster and a marble run.

Type: Lesson Plan

Too Hot to Handle:

This activity brings heat to life. It is based on transferring of heat through conduction, convection, radiation. It is a 4-day lesson with a PowerPoint, 2 labs, and a computer activity. Students have real word experiences with these and are now able to relate them to their daily lives.

Type: Lesson Plan

Family on the Go:

The main problem students will need to rank the best hybrid car for the family to buy which shows the most fuel efficient, highest safety rating, best price, and most comfortable car for a family of four. The family is interested in a hybrid. Students will then be asked to look over their finding and evaluation checklist and change the four passenger vehicle to an SUV in order to fit grandma and grandpa that will soon be moving in. The students will be given new data set that includes all SUV's currently on the market. They will use the ranking formula they devised to figure out the best SUV for the family. Next, they write a letter to the family explaining their findings and the reasons for their choice.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Thermal Energy Flow:

This MEA provides students with the opportunity to explore the basis of heat transfer. The formative assessment exposes students to a quick heat transfer demonstration. The reading passages and data sets further engage students in real life application of heat transfer and energy efficiency

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Saving the Veggies!:

Students exploring how light travels, how heat moves and how it all affects temperature will find this activity fun and exciting. They will have to determine which type of panel to choose for a fictitious greenhouse - glass or plastic and how much light, heat and moisture is best to let in - determined by whether the material is opaque, translucent or transparent. This is a fun challenge but applicable also to the environmental demands we are currently facing.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Future Car - Energy and the Environment:

Students must choose which type of automotive power plant is the best choice for a car company to use in its upcoming eco-friendly model. The students must make this decision based on characteristics of each power plant, such as efficiency, production cost, and production energy. Students must decide what they feel makes the car most “ecological.” They may choose a very low-polluting car that is very difficult and costly to produce, or one that has more emissions, but uses very limited resources to develop. This lesson could be used to either as an introduction or a follow-up to a lesson about ecology, energy use and conservation, or human environmental impacts.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Socks and Temperature - A Heat Transfer Activity:

In this lesson, students will predict if the temperature will rise inside of an empty sock compared to the air outside the sock then they will test their hypothesis. This lesson addresses heat transfer and variables.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Heat Things Up!:

How do things heat up? Help students relate thermal energy to their daily lives. This is a two-day entertaining lesson explaining thermal energy the transfer of energy between the phases of matter. It includes 2 activities for the students along with two-teacher demonstrations. Also included is a power point, and small quiz.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Fast can Dominoes Travel in a Chain Reaction?:

The students will complete an inquiry activity using dominoes to determine what variables affect the speed of the chain reaction. Students will have to consider and decide on the best spacing between dominoes to achieve the fastest travel time and ensure the spacing remains constant by carefully measuring the distance between each domino. They will set up 5 dominoes at a time to set off a chain reaction alongside another 5 dominoes space differently. Students can create a bar graph to show how the spacing affects the speed. Students can have fun while learning or reinforcing their understanding of potential and kinetic energy, measuring distance, measuring elapsed time, recording data, making and interpreting graphs and using the distance formula to calculate the rate of speed.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Power of Energy:

Have you ever wondered how energy changes from one form to another? How you can put food in microwave, and seconds later it is hot? What happens between the time you plug in a TV and you see a picture? Students will take a deeper look into energy. What are all of the kinds of energy that help an object work? This lesson is a fun way to involve kids in their learning and include technology to present.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hot Sand:

Students investigate how energy transfers and how motion affects temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Kickin' It Solar Style:

This investigation explores the effect of distance and albedo on energy absorption.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy on the Move!:

This lesson is an activity to have students explore energy transformations. Students will use photovoltaic solar panels, batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and a fan to model energy transformations to see how energy can be transformed from one form to another. If you do not have these items, see the Florida Solar Energy Center's  for how to borrow them.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

The Direction of Heat Flow:

Students will describe how heat flows from warmer objects to cooler ones until they reach the same temperature.

Content statement:
Heat flows from warmer objects to cooler objects until they are the same temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Let's Build a Contraption:

Explore different types of energy and energy transformations in this interactive tutorial. You'll also track the transfer of energy in funny Rube Goldberg contraptions. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Heat Transfer:

Heat moves from warm objects to cool objects! Learn more in this tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Conservation of Energy:

Learn about the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law states that energy can't be created or destroyed, instead it is transformed from one form to another. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Heat and States of Matter:

Learn how to demonstrate that adding heat to a system can result in a change in state in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Heat Transfer in the Creation of Fused Glass Art:

Your heart will melt as you watch a mother-daughter team explain how heat is used for glass artistry.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Bronze Casting:

Ideas about applied physics should flow freely after you learn about heat and bronze casting.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy Storage:

This video about energy storage has a lot of potential to help you learn about solar power and batteries.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy and Nutrition:

Calorie-dense foods can power the human body across the ocean? Feel the burn.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Waves:

When your classroom is the open ocean, which is the longest period? The one from the tsunami.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Teaching Ideas

Melt Away - Exploring the Heat of Fusion of Water:

The heat of fusion of water is the energy required to melt one gram of ice. In this lab, your students will use experimental evidence to approximate the heat of fusion of water. They'll also compare the energy needed to cause a change of state to the energy needed to change temperature with no change of state. This lab can be used at the middle or high school level, depending on your learning objectives and how you introduce and debrief the activity.

Type: Teaching Idea

Degrees of Separation:

In this collaborative activity students discover a quantitative model for measuring thermal energy. 

Type: Teaching Idea

Sun and Temperatures:

Students consider the relationship of temperature to environmental conditions and then apply their understanding to a practical event.

Type: Teaching Idea

Design Squad - Feel the Heat:

A project challenge that uses an engineering approach to build a solar water heater out of common materials.

Type: Teaching Idea

Absolute Zero:

A PBS/NOVA lesson (with optional accompanying video) for which students will build and calibrate a thermometer, demonstrate the concept of temperature, measure temperature, and learn the history of the invention of the thermometer and the idea of absolute zero.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Middle School Chemistry Unit | Chapter 2 | Changes of State:

Students help design experiments to test whether the temperature of water affects the rate of evaporation and whether the temperature of water vapor affects the rate of condensation. Students look in detail at the water molecule to explain the state changes of water.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animations

A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero:

  • Learn about the known temperature range from absolute zero to absolute hot
  • Learn about processes related to some temperatures
  • Explore the coldest and warmest spots observed on Earth

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Circuit Construction Kit (AC + DC):

Learn how to build a circuit
Show the difference between AC and DC
Describe the effect of an inductor on a circuit
Describe the effect of a capacitor on a circuit
Learn how to use an ammeter and a voltmeter in a circuit

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

MIT BLOSSOMS - How Cold is Cold: What is Temperature?:

This video lesson is part of a two-part series and introduces the concept of temperature. Temperature can be a challenging concept to convey since our perception is tied to words that are relative to our own experience, which varies quite a lot. A short activity to be performed in the classroom shows the need for a temperature scale since qualitative descriptions are not adequate. Temperatures that vary from the hottest to coldest recorded temperatures on earth are shown in advance of introducing the boiling temperatures of a number of cryogenic liquids. Required materials include three medium-sized containers, approximately one liter each, one containing hot water (greater than 50C/120F), one ice water and one with water at an intermediate temperature. If dry ice is available locally, the demos from the video can be repeated in the classroom with the proper cautions. This overall lesson should take 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The final question is how to tell from visual observation alone which cup contains hot water and which contains liquid nitrogen. The second BLOSSOMS video in this two-part series, "How Cold Is Cold: Properties of Materials", picks up at this point. While there are no prerequisites for this lesson, it should be viewed in advance of the second lesson of the series.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Let's Build a Contraption:

Explore different types of energy and energy transformations in this interactive tutorial. You'll also track the transfer of energy in funny Rube Goldberg contraptions. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Heat Transfer:

Heat moves from warm objects to cool objects! Learn more in this tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Conservation of Energy:

Learn about the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law states that energy can't be created or destroyed, instead it is transformed from one form to another. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Heat and States of Matter:

Learn how to demonstrate that adding heat to a system can result in a change in state in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Heat Transfer in the Creation of Fused Glass Art:

Your heart will melt as you watch a mother-daughter team explain how heat is used for glass artistry.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Bronze Casting:

Ideas about applied physics should flow freely after you learn about heat and bronze casting.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Video/Audio/Animation

Circuit Construction Kit (AC + DC):

Learn how to build a circuit
Show the difference between AC and DC
Describe the effect of an inductor on a circuit
Describe the effect of a capacitor on a circuit
Learn how to use an ammeter and a voltmeter in a circuit

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Heat Transfer in the Creation of Fused Glass Art:

Your heart will melt as you watch a mother-daughter team explain how heat is used for glass artistry.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Bronze Casting:

Ideas about applied physics should flow freely after you learn about heat and bronze casting.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Teaching Idea

Design Squad - Feel the Heat:

A project challenge that uses an engineering approach to build a solar water heater out of common materials.

Type: Teaching Idea

Video/Audio/Animation

A Sense of Scale: Absolute Zero:

  • Learn about the known temperature range from absolute zero to absolute hot
  • Learn about processes related to some temperatures
  • Explore the coldest and warmest spots observed on Earth

Type: Video/Audio/Animation