Lesson 3

Now You're Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens

What's Hot & What's Not / Grade 3 / Marietta, GA

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Now You're Cooking: Designing Solar Ovens - Lesson 3

Students test materials in order to identify good insulators and analyze the impacts those materials have on the environment.

Reflection Questions

What misconceptions about heat energy do you see Linda’s students struggling with? What does Linda do to address these misconceptions?

Linda is constantly assessing her students’ understanding of thermal energy transfer, and adding activities that help solidify her students’ developing knowledge of a complex science topic.

  • Linda wants her students to understand the direction of energy transfer, always from warmer to cooler areas. To help students learn this principle, she teaches them a little dance that reinforces the direction of energy flow. (0:29) She also mentions it several times in her teaching. (0:56, 1:12)   
  • Linda is aware that her students may think that air moves from warmer to cooler areas. She takes every occasion to reinforce the idea that it is the heat energy that is moving, not the air itself. (1:06, 2:47) 
  • Linda’s students have difficulty interpreting trends in the “change in temperature” data. Some students are stuck on the idea that a large change in temperature signifies a really good insulator, rather than a poor one. By adding the foam and foil jacket activity, Linda gives a concrete example that shows that better insulators result in smaller temperature changes.  

What does Linda do to make sure the process of testing insulation materials in the ice bath is both fun and manageable?

Because the testing setup is small and fragile, Linda uses procedures that reduce crowding and produce accurate results.

  • Linda prepared the testing basin as described in the guide: she has added ice water to the tub and has secured 11 cups to the bottom so that students can gently nest their test cups inside each one. (3:36)
  • To limit the number of students crowding around the ice bath, Linda assigns only one student from each group to be the thermometer reader. (3:23)
  • To help manage time between readings, Linda has the students count down to reading time. (4:04)