Education Technology

Cooling Rates

Published on 08/16/2010

Activity Overview

Students will collect data on the temperature of a cooling metal sensor. They will then fit a model to their collected data and attempt to find numerical values for the variables in the modeled equation. Finally, they will use the derivative to investigate the rate of temperature change as a function of the difference in temperature between the probe and the environment.

Key Steps

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    Students should open the TNS file and read the first two pages. When students reach page 1.3, they should connect the temperature sensors to their handhelds or computers. This should activate the temperature sensor, and a temperature display should appear in the data collection box.

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    Immediately after removing the sensor from the water, students will begin data collection. Data collection will run for three minutes. When it is complete and students close the data collection box, their screens should look like the one shown.

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    Next, students will advance to page 1.4 and make a scatter plot of the temperature and time data.