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Investigation 2: Energy Transfer and Conservation

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Electricity with Wind Energy

Performance Assessment

In this lab experience, students are challenged to design a mini wind turbine and then investigate how their design affects power output. Students will discover that no single variable makes the difference in how much power the wind turbine can produce. All the different pieces must work together for the most efficient design. Blade material, angle, size, shape and placement are all important. By observing the designs of each group, students will see the best performing turbines had about eight midsize blades that tapered from top to bottom. They were inserted at an angle to the hub with only a little space at the bottom. Only the polystyrene sheet was ineffective as a blade material. The other materials worked well depending on shape and size.

Materials Included in Kit

Consumable:
Bamboo skewers, 100
Caps, 2
Cork, size 11, 30
DC Motor, 1.5 V, 2
Sandpaper, 9 in. × 11 in.
Cardboard sheets, 8.5 in. x 8.5 in., 8
Foam sheets, 8.5 in. x 8.5 in., 12
Manila folders, 4
Polystyrene sheet, 12 in. × 12 in., 4
Additional Materials Required
Bunsen Burner, Adjustable, Natural Gas, 2
Connector Cord, Alligator Clips, Both Ends, Red, 14", 2
Connector Cord, Alligator Clips, Both Ends, Black, 14", 2
Multimeter, Student, 2
Support Stand, Economy Choice, 2
Metric ruler or meter stick, 2
Scissors, 2
Tongs, 2

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Introduction to Electromagnetism

In this lab experience, students explore electromagnets and examine how an electric field from a battery generates a magnetic current through wire. Students are working to prove that electric current can generate a magnetic field and that a magnetic field can be used to generate an electric current. To demonstrate the first statement groups will build their own electromagnet. They will then observe the difference in strength with and without the iron core. For the second statement, students create a magnetic field in one tube covered in magnet wire and see the resulting effect on a compass in another tube wrapped in magnet wire. They should draw the conclusion that the magnetic field created an electric field that carried down the wire to the other tube.

Materials Included in Kit

Consumable:
Magnet wire spools, 38 m, 2
Sandpaper, 9 in. x 11 in. sheet
Non-Consumable:
Compasses, Pkg/10
Connector cords w/ alligator clips, 22 in., 20
Iron nails, Pkg/10
Mini soda bottles, 10
Neodymium magnets, Pkg/10
Paper clips, steel, package of 100, 2
Plastic jar, 60 mL, 10
Additional Materials Required
Batteries, Transistor Battery (Alkaline), 9 V, 10
Crimping Tool, 10
Stirring Rods, Glass, 10
Scissors, 10
Tape, transparent (locally), 10

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Build a Basic Generator

Engineering Design Challenge

In this lab experience, students are challenged to design and build an efficient calorimeter. Students find that the nail must be completely surrounded by the wire or a strong enough current cannot be produced. The faster the nail and magnets are spun, the brighter the LED bulb will glow.

Materials Included in Kit

Consumable:
Cardboard tube, 10
LED, Red, 1.2 V, package of 10
Magnet wire, 30 gauge, 200 ft, 10
Non-Consumable:
Iron nails, package of 10
Neodymium magnets, 10
Sandpaper, 9” x 11” sheet
Additional Materials Required
Multimeter, student, 10
Resistor Set, 10
Ruler, Metric, Clear, 30 cm, 10
Student Compass Set, Pkg. of 30, 1
Scissors, 10

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Thermal Energy and Heat Transfer

In this lab experience, students use microscale calorimeters to evaluate the heat flow of metals and discover that metals conduct thermal energy much more easily than nonmetals and nonmetals make good insulators because they do not conduct thermal energy well. As students investigate the thermal energy transfer of metals, they will find that while all metals can transfer heat, not all of them can do it efficiently. They will also discover that the efficiency of heat transfer relies, in part, on the starting temperature of each calorimeter. To accurately measure how well each metal strip transfers heat, there must be a large difference between the starting temperatures. Students will also realize that the most efficient metal is not necessarily the best choice in the real world. They must consider the cost of each metal and how well it can withstand certain environmental factors.

Materials Included in Kit

Non-Consumable:
Aluminum strips, 6 in., package of 10
Copper strips, 6 in., package of 5
Iron strips, 6 in., package of 5
Zinc strips, 5 in., package of 10
Microscale calorimeters, 20
Cardboard, 11 cm x 14 cm, 5
Scissors, heavy-duty
Additional Materials Required
Beakers, Borosilicate Glass, 250-mL, 20
Cylinder, Borosilicate Glass, 25 mL, 10
DLAB Classic Magnetic Stirrer/Hot Plate, 10
Flinn Digital Thermometer, 20

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Evaluate Thermal Equilibrium of Metals

In this lab experience, students experiment to determine whether reactions are endothermic or exothermic based on their color change at hot and cold temperatures. Students will come to the understanding that some reactions are reliant on temperature to shift their equilibrium. Often the focus is on solution concentration and students forget the role that temperature and pressure play. The cobalt chloride solution is endothermic and the iron thiocyanate solution is exothermic. The equilibrium for both is reversible. The industrial production of ammonia is exothermic. Students will see that for ammonia production thermal equilibrium is just one piece. It is actually a complex equilibrium that relies on concentration, pressure and temperature working together. This will help students appreciate the broader concept of equilibrium.

Materials Included in Kit

Consumable:
Cobalt(II) chloride/alcohol/water solution, 300 mL
Iron(III) nitrate solution, 0.1 M, 25 mL
Potassium thiocyanate solution, 0.1 M, 20 mL
Non-Consumable:
Test tubes, 13 mm x 100 mm, 65
Additional Materials Required
Beakers, Borosilicate Glass, 50-mL, 10
Beakers, Borosilicate Glass, 150-mL, 20
DLAB Classic Magnetic Stirrer/Hot Plate, 10
Flinn Digital Thermometer, 20
Stirring Rods, Glass, 10