Students will use Design Thinking and STEM Engineering skills to design and test a prototype of a device to minimize thermal energy transfer. This resource includes two labs (engineering challenges) follow-up pages, and a quiz. Students will make a thermos to keep something warm and a mini-ice chest to keep an ice cube from melting. Students will use what they know about insulators and conductors and heat transfer to design devices that they will test using controls.
This resource is specifically designed to meet the following standards, but could easily be used by other grades as a STEM engineering activity.
MS PS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of devices could include an insulated box, a solar cooker, and a Styrofoam cup.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include calculating the total amount of thermal energy transferred.]
Utah SEEd 6.2.4 Design an object, tool, or process that minimizes or maximizes heat transfer. Identify criteria and constraints, develop a prototype for iterative testing, analyze data from testing, and propose modifications for optimizing the design solution. Emphasize demonstrating how the of differing materials allows them to as either conductors or insulators. (PS3.A, PS3.B, ETS1.A, ETS1.B, ETS1.C)