Time Required: 220–240 minutes
In The Lab, students will:

Plan and conduct two investigations of various materials to determine which are the best insulators and which are the best conductors, then evaluate the relationships between thermal energy, average kinetic energy of particles, and temperature.

Standards
MS-PS1-6
Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.* [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the design, controlling the transfer of energy to the environment, and modification of a device using factors such as type and concentration of a substance. Examples of designs could involve chemical reactions such as dissolving ammonium chloride or calcium chloride.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to the criteria of amount, time, and temperature of substance in testing the device.]
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.]
MS-PS3-4
Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample. [Clarification Statement: Examples of experiments could include comparing final water temperatures after different masses of ice melted in the same volume of water with the same initial temperature, the temperature change of samples of different materials with the same mass as they cool or heat in the environment, or the same material with different masses when a specific amount of energy is added.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include calculating the total amount of thermal energy transferred.]
MS-PS3-5
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object. [Clarification Statement: Examples of empirical evidence used in arguments could include an inventory or other representation of the energy before and after the transfer in the form of temperature changes or motion of object.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include calculations of energy.]