Initial perceptual naive misconceptions (any age)
- When objects are heated the particles expand and contract when they cool.
- Thinks expand to make room for the heat.
- Heat is an object or something other than energy.
- Temperature depends on the material. Metal is colder than fabric. Coats are warm.
- Temperature depends on size.
- Heat travels like a liquid through conductors.
- If you mix 40 degree water with 40 degree water you get 80 or more than 40.
- Somethings are hotter than others are even though they have been in the same room, oven, water… for a long period of time.
- Metal is hotter or colder than other objects.
- Blankets, coats, warm objects. Because clothes keep you warm, anything closed in is warm, it acts as insulation and warms it up, it protects it from outside stuff, it’s like a house.
- Hot water freezes faster than cold
- Hot water molecules evaporate when heated making less molecules that need to freeze.
- Steam produced need not be frozen.
- When cold water freezes the ice crystals act as a barrier not a helper.
- Hot water molecules are farther apart giving room in which to freeze.
- There is less oxygen and carbon dioxide making it easier to freeze.
- When molecules are closer together they do not have as much of a chance of freezing where as in the hotter they are farther apart which gives them a better chance to freeze.
Beginning (preschool - 7 years)
- Sun provides heat.
- Heat is necessary for life.
Intermediate (7 years - 11 years)
- Heat can be produced in many ways, such as burning, rubbing, or mixing one substance with another.
- Heat is transferred from a source to a reciever. Heat is transferred in predictable ways, flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature.
- Heat can be transferred during a chemical, electrical, magnetic, light, mechanical, or nuclear reaction.
- Objects that give off light usually give off heat.
- Mechanical energy is usually related to heat through friction.
- Hot and cold objects will transfer heat energy until they reach equilibrium.
- Some material conduct energy better than others. Some materials can transfer heat by contact or at a distance.
- Heat is almost always a result of energy transfer.
- Heat can be transfered by touching of particles (collisions of atoms conduction), or through space (by rays radiation) or currents in a fluid (convection).
- When objects are heated the space between the particles increases.
- Heat energy is the disorderly motion of molecules and in radiation.
Scoring guide for temperature (see activity: heat energy, temperature, & transfer)
Low level: Explains heat with I don't know, or as soemthing with magic like qualities: like heat being a substance continuously generated within the object. Like a blanket, coat, glove, ... generates and gives off heat without consideration of limited supply or conservation of energy.
Middle level: Explains heat energy as something different than the object itself. Something that can be transfered from one thing to another.
High level: Explains heat is transferred in predictable ways from a source to a receiver. Flowing from warmer objects to cooler ones, until both reach the same temperature. Some materials conduct heat energy better than others, which can effect peoples perceptions of temperature.