Exploring Energy and Matter

A professional development course for science teachers at the Exploratorium. 2015.

Day 1 Matter

Atomic Theory "All the world is made of atoms." R. Feynman

On the floor Exhibits:

Gas Model
Too Slow to Notice
Molecular Buffeting


Gas Model
Too Slow to Notice Evaporation using a microbalance

Measure the size of an atom Emuller from 10:30 to 12:00

Brownian Motion SL

Day 2 Conservation of Matter


Burn steel wool, candle measure mass change PD

Tree and CO2


Day 3 Energy: Forms of energy

All forms of energy can be 100% converted into heat(flow)
Kinetic Energy, Potential Energy, work, mass, thermal energy


Energy Transformation Examples.

Burn a peanut Calorimetry plus engineer a better calorimeter
Measure the Power of the sun

Efficiency, measure a solar cell.

CaCl Lab TCE

Energy Transformations examples TCE

Day 4 Conservation of Energy


Resonant Pendulum : Gravitational Potential and kinetic Energy sum is constant

Orbits: Gravitational potential and Kinetic energy, sum is constant



Day 5 Temperature ?

A thermometer in contact with an object has the same temperature as the object. In the1800s Temperature was defined for an ideal gas thermometer as the average random kinetic energy of translational motion per molecule.

In the 1900s temperature is the negative derivative of internal energy versus entropy T = - dU/dS.




Burn steel wool, candle measure mass change PD
Tree and CO2
CaCl Lab TCE

Carbon Cycle model with grains of rice LL 
Your carbon foorprint Model with briquettes in a bottle BJ
Water Cycle water cycle game, cup of water in a sealed bag LL
Rock Cycle (using M+Ms)PD EM

Plant growth, where does the plant come from (clue cards) TCE
Eloidia and PH indicator SH
Food webs  
Too slow to notice evaporation mass loss (use microbalance) DR



Calorimetry Burn a peanut  PD TCE
Engineering a better Calorimeter (Modeto)


Energy Transformations examples TCE


Light edge comparator (table look up)
Waves and domino fall PD
Evolutionary trade-offs SH
Sun Measure the power of the sun PD
Rectified Globe PD TCE




Scientific Explorations by Paul Doherty

© 2015

22 May 2015