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Carolina® First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics Kit

(backordered: in stock 10/31/22)


Place a hot beverage outside on a cold day. Soon, the beverage cools to the temperature of the surrounding air. The colder the air, the faster the cooling seems to occur. Likewise, a cold beverage taken outside on a hot day warms to the ambient temperature. What determines how heat is transferred between objects and how quickly the transfer happens? What can that simple phenomenon tell us about energy transfer in general and about more complex systems that use heat to perform work? In this investigation, students explore the driving question, “What factors affect the rate of transfer of thermal energy?”

Time Requirement
Total, 150 minutes. Teacher prep, 30 minutes. Pre-lab, 30 minutes. Each investigative period, about 90 minutes.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Energy and Matter

Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Science and Engineering Practices
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Learning Objectives

  • Monitor or analyze the change in temperature of 2 samples of matter under various conditions.
  • Perform graphical analysis of data related to the transfer of thermal energy.
  • Explain what the experimental results indicate about factors that affect heat transfer.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should have an understanding of the definition of energy and the relationship between thermal energy and temperature. They should also be familiar with the kinetic theory of matter, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and with the 3 methods of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.


What’s Included:
Needed But Not Included:
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