Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Website Detail Page

Item Picture
published by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering
In this 50-minute activity for grades 3-5, students construct a simple thermometer using 2-liter bottles, straws, and an alcohol-water mixture.  The primary objective is to help young students understand the difference between temperature and thermal energy.  A printable student worksheet, temperature conversion worksheet, assessment ideas, and vocabulary lists are included.  This activity is part of a module titled "How Hot Is It?"  See Related items on this page for a link to the full module.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:  Very minimal risk.  No external heat source except sunlight is used.  Liquids to be used are water, food coloring, and alcohol.  

Teach Engineering is an NSF-funded Pathway developed to provide high-quality experiential learning materials for K-12 classrooms.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
= Heat Transfer
- Thermal Properties of Matter
= Temperature
= Thermal Expansion
- Elementary School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Best practice
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!


Intended Users:
Learner
Educator
Formats:
text/html
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
© 2005 Regents of the University of Colorado
Keywords:
energy, experiential learning, heat energy, temperature, thermal energy, thermodynamics, thermometer
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created October 20, 2008 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 27, 2014 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
April 21, 2006

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 3-5: 1B/E1. Scientific investigations may take many different forms, including observing what things are like or what is happening somewhere, collecting specimens for analysis, and doing experiments.
  • 3-5: 1B/E2b. One reason for following directions carefully and for keeping records of one's work is to provide information on what might have caused differences in investigations.

4. The Physical Setting

4E. Energy Transformations
  • 3-5: 4E/E2b. When warmer things are put with cooler ones, heat is transferred from the warmer ones to the cooler ones.
  • 3-5: 4E/E2c. A warmer object can warm a cooler one by contact or at a distance.

11. Common Themes

11C. Constancy and Change
  • 3-5: 11C/E2b. Often the best way to tell which kinds of change are happening is to make a table or graph of measurements.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
  • 3-5: 12B/E6. Add or subtract any two whole numbers between 1 and 100.
  • 3-5: 12B/E9. Use appropriate units when describing quantities.
12C. Manipulation and Observation
  • 3-5: 12C/E1. Choose appropriate common materials for making simple mechanical constructions and repairing things.
  • 3-5: 12C/E2. Measure out a prescribed amount of a liquid or dry powder using a measuring cup, measuring spoon, or scale.
  • 3-5: 12C/E3. Keep written or electronic records of information so that the records are understandable weeks or months later.
12D. Communication Skills
  • 3-5: 12D/E3. Use numerical data in describing and comparing objects and events.
  • 3-5: 12D/E4. Read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe what the tables and graphs show.
  • 3-5: 12D/E7. Write a clear and accurate description of a real-world object or event.

Next Generation Science Standards

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used. (3-5)
    • Represent data in tables and various graphical displays (bar graphs and pictographs) to reveal patterns that indicate relationships. (3)
Asking Questions and Defining Problems (K-12)
  • Asking questions and defining problems in grades 3–5 builds on grades K–2 experiences and progresses to specifying qualitative relationships. (3-5)
    • Ask questions that can be investigated and predict reasonable outcomes based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships. (4)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. (3-5)
    • Use evidence (e.g., measurements, observations, patterns) to construct an explanation. (4)
    • Identify the evidence that supports particular points in an explanation. (4)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions. (3-5)
    • Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon. (4)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative measurements to a variety of physical properties and using computation and mathematics to analyze data and compare alternative design solutions. (5)
    • Measure and graph quantities such as weight to address scientific and engineering questions and problems. (5)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used. (3-5)
Asking Questions and Defining Problems (K-12)
  • Asking questions and defining problems in grades 3–5 builds on grades K–2 experiences and progresses to specifying qualitative relationships. (3-5)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to the use of evidence in constructing explanations that specify variables that describe and predict phenomena and in designing multiple solutions to design problems. (3-5)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to include investigations that control variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions. (3-5)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
  • Mathematical and computational thinking in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative measurements to a variety of physical properties and using computation and mathematics to analyze data and compare alternative design solutions. (5)

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.


Topic: Heat and Temperature
Unit Title: Understanding Temperature and Heat for Teachers of the Early Grades

Students in Grades 3-5 explore the difference between heat and temperature as they construct their own thermometer scales.  The only safety precaution is that alcohol is used in the thermometer liquid mixture.  For a great introductory activity, see "How Hot Is It" above.

Links to Units:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml).
AJP/PRST-PER
Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale (Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2005), <http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml>.
APA Format
Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale. (2006, April 21). Retrieved August 28, 2014, from Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering: http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml
Chicago Format
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering. Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, April 21, 2006. http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml (accessed 28 August 2014).
MLA Format
Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, 2005. 21 Apr. 2006. 28 Aug. 2014 <http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale}, Publisher = {Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {28 August 2014}, Month = {April 21, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale
%D April 21, 2006
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%C Boulder
%U http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D April 21, 2006
%T Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale
%I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering
%V 2014
%N 28 August 2014
%8 April 21, 2006
%9 text/html
%U http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson06_activity1.xml


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

This resource is stored in a shared folder.

You must login to access shared folders.

Teach Engineering: Make Your Own Temperature Scale:

Is Part Of Teach Engineering: How Hot Is It?

A link to the full module that accompanies this activity.

relation by Caroline Hall
Accompanies Teach Engineering: How Much Heat Will It Hold?

This inquiry-based lab by the same authors explores the concept of heat capacity and how it is related to thermal energy storage.  Appropriate for Grades 3-5.

relation by Caroline Hall

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders

Supplements

Contribute

Related Materials

Similar Materials