Students learn that fats found in the foods we eat are not all the same; they discover that physical properties of materials are related to their chemical structures. Provided with several samples of commonly used fats with different chemical properties (olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening, animal fat and butter), student groups build and use simple LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots with temperature and light sensors to determine the melting points of the fat samples. Because of their different chemical structures, these fats exhibit different physical properties, such as melting point and color. This activity uses the fact that fats are opaque when solid and translucent when liquid to determine the melting point of each sample upon being heated. Students heat the samples, and use the robot to determine when samples are melted. They analyze plots of their collected data to compare melting points of the oil samples to look for trends. Discrepancies are correlated to differences in the chemical structure and composition of the fats.
Students define and classify alloys as mixtures, while comparing and contrasting the properties of alloys to those of pure substances. Students learn that engineers investigate the structures and properties of alloys for biomedical and transportation applications. Pre- and post-assessment handouts are provided.
Acting as engineering teams, students take measurements and make calculations to determine the specific strength of various alloys and then report their data to the rest of the class. Using this class data, students write data-based recommendations to NASA regarding the best alloy to use in the construction of the engine and engine turbines for the Space Launch System that will eventually be used to transport astronauts to Mars.
The project is called "Chemistry and Cooking" and it will last about 6 weeks. Students will learn about what matter is, the phases of matter, the difference between physical and chemical properties, as well as physical and chemical changes. The project’s Driving Question, which focuses our work, is “How does an understanding of chemistry impact your cooking?” Students will be involved in hands-on activities and labs that will help them learn the concepts that they will then apply to their final project. The child will work independently on a recipe of their choice to show their understanding of how chemistry impacts cooking.
This lesson focuses on how food packages are designed and made. Students will learn three of the main functions of a food package. They will learn what is necessary of the design and materials of a package to keep food clean, protect or aid in the physical and chemical changes that can take place in a food, and identify a food appealingly. Then, in the associated activity, the students will have the opportunity to become packaging engineers by designing and building their own food package for a particular type of food.
Students learn about geotechnical engineers and their use of physical properties, such as soil density, to determine the ability of various soils to offer support to foundations. In an associated activity, students determine the bulk densities of soil samples, and assess their suitability to support foundations.
Students calculate the viscosity of various household fluids by measuring the amount of time it takes marble or steel balls to fall given distances through the liquids. They experience what viscosity means, and also practice using algebra and unit conversions.
Student groups are challenged to create food packages for specific foods. They focus on three components in the design of their food packages; the packages must keep the food clean, protect or aid in the physical and chemical changes that can take place in the food, and present the food appealingly. They design their packaging to meet these requirements.
Students investigate the property dependence between liquid and solid interfaces and determine observable differences in how liquids react to different solid surfaces. They compare copper pennies and plastic "coins" as the two test surfaces. Using an eye dropper to deliver various fluids onto the surfaces, students determine the volume and mass of a liquid that can sit on the surface. They use rulers, scales, equations of volume and area, and other methods of approximation and observation, to make their own graphical interpretations of trends. They apply what they learned to design two super-surfaces (from provided surface treatment materials) that arecapable of holding the most liquid by volume and by mass. Cost of materials is a parameter in their design decisions.
- Technology and Engineering
- Material Type:
- Provider Set:
- TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
- Courtney Herring (WSU Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering)
- CREAM GK-12 Program, Engineering Education Research Center, College of Engineering and Architecture,
- Date Added:
Students act as chemical engineers and use LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT robotics to record temperatures and learn about the three states of matter. Properties of matter can be measured in various ways, including volume, mass, density and temperature. Students measure the temperature of water in its solid state (ice) as it is melted and then evaporated.
This lesson plan examines the properties of elements and the periodic table. Students learn the basic definition of an element and the 18 elements that build most of the matter in the universe. The periodic table is described as one method of organization for the elements. The concepts of physical and chemical properties are also reviewed.
Students are introduced to the similarities and differences in the behaviors of elastic solids and viscous fluids. Several types of fluid behaviors are described Bingham plastic, Newtonian, shear thinning and shear thickening along with their respective shear stress vs. rate of shearing strain diagrams. In addition, fluid material properties such as viscosity are introduced, along with the methods that engineers use to determine those physical properties.