Thermal Equilibration - Comparing Individual And Aggregate Levels Of A System
Time: 45 minutes
Level: High School Chemistry or Physics
Lesson OverviewStudents will use a NetLogo model to learn about thermal equilibration and develop skills with investigating a complex system as a whole, thinking in levels, and using computational models to understand a concept and test hypotheses.
Knowledge (Students will know that...)
- Uncontrolled systems always evolve toward more stable states—that is, toward more uniform energy distribution. For example, two substances at different temperatures move to states of equal temperature.
- On the microscopic level, particles are bumping into each other and exchanging kinetic energy. Energy is more commonly given from a higher energy particle to a lower energy particle, but it can also be given from a lower energy particle to a higher energy particle.
Skills (Students will be able to...)
- Identify different levels of the system and articulate the behavior of the system at each level.
Epistemologies (Students will understand that...)
- The nature of the individual and group (aggregate) levels of a system and the values and limitations of looking at either level.
- Temperature is the average kinetic energy of molecules in a substance. Individual molecules don’t have temperature. It is an aggregate level measure.
- Kinetic energy is proportional to particle speed.
The teacher will assess and give feedback based on the accuracy and clarity of student responses.
(Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexraxon/8377471408)
- Physical Science
- [HS-PS3] Energy
Computational Thinking in STEM
- Modeling and Simulation Practices
- Using Computational Models to Understand a Concept
- Systems Thinking Practices
- Investigating a Complex System as a Whole
- Thinking in Levels