Teaching Heat in Junior Cert Science

There are a large amount of experiments in this chapter:

  1. Expansion and contraction of solids.
  2. Expansion and contraction of liquids.
  3. Expansion and contraction of gases.
  4. Water is a bad conductor.
  5. Expansion of water on freezing.
  6. Comparison of conduction in various metals.
  7. Convection in liquids.
  8. Convection in gas.
  9. Compare radiation in bright and dark surfaces.
  10. Plotting cooling curves.

This can lead to problems on two fronts:

  1. It can take an inordinate amount of time to get through the chapter.
  2. Students can easily get confused about which experiment goes with which concept.

It makes sense to group experiments into sections, and if possible carry out each set of experiments together.
This does however take a little organisation in advance.
So here we look at the expansion of solids, liquids and gases; the aim is for the students to get through all three in one period, although they would need to be prepared in advance.
Allow a double-class if trying this for the first time, for obvious reasons.
It’s never going to make the best of youtube, but hopefully it will help the teachers in my own science department. I hope to get through the rest soon, and then summarise as best I can on one page using diagrams.

Thanks to my second-year class of  for being amazingly patient.
And thanks to Millie for the brilliant camera-work (can you believe she had never used a camcorder before?!)

Colleagues: Please ensure that the equipment goes back into the correct boxes after.
Pretty please?
With a cherry on top??

Late update: I’ve just seen Tom Healy’s videos of the same expts on youtube, but put together much more lovingly. I reckon they all complement each other nicely!


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