How Hot is Your Style?

Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
The Center for Advancement of Teaching

How Hot is Your Style?
Lesson Plan
Algebra 1 Level

Objective:The student will be able to convert F to C and vice versa using the given formula and a calculator. The student will be able to plot and interpret the relationship between the change of temperature and the time interval.

Engage: Discuss with students the differences in heat during the day both inside and outside. Discuss the different (Fahrenheit and Celsius) scales used for recording temperatures.
Give the students the following conversion formulas: F = 9/5 C + 32 C = 5/9 ( F - 32)

Group exploration
  • Put students in small groups
  • Give students data for 12 hour time period (preferably overnight) for 5 different cities. ( Each group should be given a different city, not all 5 cities for each group.) The data should be hourly recordings of temperature on either a Fahrenheit or Celsius scale (but not both.)
  • Students should convert temperatures to opposite scale using appropriate formulas.
  • Students will plot graphs for both sets of data and compare results.

    Explain: Discuss temperature, heat retention, heat loss, and conductors. Discuss materials which conduct heat effectively as well as materials which retain heat.

    Elaborate: Complete activity using the EA-100 and CFX-9850G.

    Aluminum foil
    oven mitt
    temperature probe
    hair dryer
    stopwatch/ timer/ alarm
    TEMP program
    data communication cable

    1. Perform the experiment as follows:
      • Perform the experiment as follows:
      • Attach temperature probe in CH1 of the EA-100
      • Turn on EA-100
      • Connect the EA-100 to the CFX-9850G using the data communication cable.
      • Students should fold a small piece of aluminum foil over the temperature probe so that the probe is in the center of the foil. Flatten the foil around the probe tightly.
      • Give the student who is holding the probe an oven mitt to protect the hand from the heat of the dryer.
      • Turn the hair dryer on high and heat the center of the foil where the probe is located.
      • Heat the probe for approximately 2 minutes.
      • Once time has expired, retrieve the program Temp from the CFX-9850G: b. Go to Main Menu and select PRGM
        c. Cursor down to highlight TEMP
        d. EXE
      • Turn off the hair dryer
      • Press TRIGGER on the EA-100
      • Measurement will be completed when EA-100 displays DONE.
      • Push EXE on CFX-9850G to display graph.

        Evaluate: : Students will look at graph on calculator and trace from point to point. Students will copy lists from the calculator for Time and Temperature. Have each individual student plot a list of points from their data sheets that have been converted from Celsius to Fahrenheit using the given formulas. Each student in the group would have a different data sheet (see samples following).
        Extra discussion: 1) Have students identify the lowest temperature listed on the graph. Discuss lowest possible temperature and why it is significant. 2) Discuss whether the temperature of the probe would ever equal 0. NOTE: For the purposes of testing this experiment, a 1600 watt hair dryer was used. The length of time for heating the probe was verified by the EA-100 unit. The best temperature for this experiment is approximately 70 C.

        Developed by:
        Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
        Butler High School Matthews, NC

        additional help from:
        Neal Farley
        Independence High School
        Charlotte, NC