Energy activities with water

Prerequisite concepts and skills: temperature and thermometer. See activities with thermometers and temperature

Activity Energy transfer of hot and cold water mixing equal volumes

Concepts

Interactions of matter and energy create weather
Heat energy transfers from a source to a receiver. Energy is always conserved.

Materials: Three cups, volume measuring devices, thermometers, hot water, cold water.

Procedure: Measure the temperature of hot water and cold water, measure equal volumes of water, mix the water, measure the temperature of the mixed water. Mix different volumes of hot and cold water and find what the resulting temperatures are. Write a sentence or formula to predict what happens.

Activity Mixing unequal volumes of hot and cold water

Materials: Three cups, volume measuring devices, thermometers, hot water, cold water.

Procedure: Measure the temperature of hot water and cold water, measure equal volumes of water, mix the water, measure the temperature of the mixed water. Mix different volumes of hot and cold water and find what the resulting temperatures are. Write a sentence or formula to predict what happens.

Activity Water and ice

Materials: Container (about 1 liter), volume measuring devices, thermometers, ice, cold water.

Procedure: Put 500 ml of cold water into the container, add about four ice cubes, stir, record the temperature, continue to stir and record the temperature every minute until the ice melts.

Activity Salt and ice

Materials: Ice, salt, wood spoon, bowl, thermometer.

Concepts

Latent heat transfer involves transfer of heat as water changes states (phases) (solid, liquid, gas) and accounts for 77% of the heat transferred from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere. Twenty-three percent of the transfer of energy from the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere is from conduction and convection.

Procedure:: Add layers of ice and salt, stir, record the temperature every minute for ten minutes. (Warning the sides of the bowl may get very cold and could cause frost bite. Handle the bowls with gloves.)

Activity Ice water to boiling

Materials: Juice container with a metal bottom, volume measuring devices, thermometers, ice, cold water, alcohol lamp, tripod to hold the can over the alcohol lamb.

Procedure: Put about 200 ml of cold water into the container, add about two ice cubes, stir, record the temperature, place the can on the tripod over the alcohol lamp, light the lamp, continue to stir and record the temperature every minute until the ice melts, continue to stir and record the temperature until the water boils. What happens to all the energy transferred to the water?

Activity Hot and cold water mix

Concepts

Energy transfers from a source to a receiver.
Different variables affect the rate of energy transfer.
Energy transfers at a rate proportional to the amount of energy in the source and the receiver.
The rate of transfer is related to the types of materials.
Materials can be classified (conductor insulator) by rates of energy transfer.

Activity Heat transfer

Materials: Three cups made of different materials (styrofoam, plastic, paper), volume measuring devices, thermometers, hot water, cold water.

Procedure: Measure the temperature of hot water and cold water, measure equal volumes of water, put the water into different cups, place one of the cups of water into the other cup of water, and measure the temperature of the hot and cold water every minute for 10 minutes. Write a sentence or formula to predict what happens.

Activity Ice cube melting contest

Materials: Plastic bag, ice cube.

Procedure: Challenge the students to melt the ice and collect as much water in the plastic bag as they can in 5 minutes. You may want to put some restrictions on materials that they can or can not use depending on the environment.

Activity Ice preservation contest

Materials: Ice and other materials the group decides to allow. Students create a device to preserve the ice.

Procedure: Put the ice into each device and set them aside for the day.

Activity Different materials and different or same temperatures?

Concepts

Energy is transferred in three general ways (radiation, convection, conduction).
Conduction is the transfer of energy through matter by particles bumping into each other.

Materials: collection of small objects. Wood, metal, fabric or cotton ball, plastic, rubber, glass...

Procedure: Feel the difference between the feel of the temperature of different materials at room temperature. Put the objects in order from what feels the warmest to coldest. How do you explain the results?

Activity How does heat energy transfer through metal?

Concepts

Energy is transferred in three general ways (radiation, convection, conduction).
Conduction is the transfer of energy through matter by particles bumping into each other.

Materials: candles and a metal coat hanger

Procedure: Attach candles onto a metal rod (coat hanger) and heat, Why do candles fall off in the order they do? Model of how energy transfer.

Activity Hot and cold cars

Concepts

Radiation is the transfer of energy through electromagnetic waves. When radiant energy is absorbed it creates heat.

Materials: Thermometers and assorted colors of automobiles.

Procedure: Have the students discuss where they could take the temperature of the cars (outside front hood, outside roof, inside dash, front seat, back seat, in trunk...) decide where to take the temperatures of the cars and have the students chart the place, the temperature and the color of the car.

Activity Hot and cold drops of water

Concepts

Convection is the transfer of energy in gases and liquids by the interaction of particles touching. The transfer of energy changes the density of the particles that interact with gravity to create currents.

Materials: Hot and cold water, food coloring, baby food jars, eye droppers, film canisters, paper.

Procedure: Each group should have one baby food jar filled three-fours with hot water, one baby food jar filled three-fourths with cold water, one film canister filled three-fourths with hot water, and one film canister filled three-fourths with cold water. Add five drops of food coloring to one of the film canisters and five drops of another color to the other film canister. Use the eye dropper to drop drops of the colored hot and cold water into the baby food jars of the hot and cold water. Observe how the different temperatures of water interact.

Activity Convection currents in water

Concepts

Convection

Materials: Two narrow mouthed glass bottles, cold and hot water, food coloring, plastic or cardboard card.

Procedure: Fill one glass with hot water and the other with cold. Place the card over the mouth of the hot, invert it and place it onto the cold. Observe.

Activity Hot and cold bubbles

Concepts

Amount of heat energy effects the volume and density of matter.

Materials: Bubble solution one hot and another cold, bubble wand.

Procedure: Blow bubbles and observe what the difference is between hot and cold bubbles. What was the temperature when you blew the bubbles. If it was hot try it on a cold day. Or try it next to an open refrigerator (please do not leave the frig. open too long).

Activity Hot and cold air

Concepts

Amount of heat energy effects the volume and density of matter.

Materials: Safety glasses, buckets, ice, hot water, glass pop bottle, balloons.

Procedure: Put the uncovered bottle into a bucket of hot water for three minutes, do not get water into the bottle but cover it with as much water as possible. Put the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Put on the safety glasses if you have not already done so. Put the bottle into the ice water. What happened. Repeat the same process only this time put the bottle into the ice without the balloon for three minutes, put the balloon on, make sure participants have safety glasses, insert the apparatus into the hot water. What happens?