Activities

Greenhouse Light and Temperature

By using a temperature sensor, we can relate changes in sunlight to the temperature of the air being trapped in a container.

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Requirements

The Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart is required to run any of the activities. You can download it at: java.com.

Make your own miniature greenhouse and measure the light levels at different "times of day"—modeled by changing the angle of a lamp on the greenhouse—using a light sensor. Next, investigate the temperature in your greenhouse with and without a cover. Learn how a greenhouse works and how you can regulate the temperature in your model greenhouse.

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Download Size: 25.5 MB

WARNING: Your data will not be saved. To save data, run this activity as a registered user. You can register at the project portal. Please view the requirements below before launching this activity.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

1. The Nature of Science

1A. The Scientific Worldview
  • 1A/E2**. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that science is a process of trying to figure out how the world works by making careful observations and trying to make sense of those observations.

4. The Physical Setting

4E. Energy Transformations
  • 4E/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that thermal energy is transferred through a material by the collisions of atoms within the material. Over time, the thermal energy tends to spread out through a material and from one material to another if they are in contact. Thermal energy can also be transferred by means of currents in air, water, or other fluids. In addition, some thermal energy in all materials is transformed into light energy and radiated into the environment by electromagnetic waves; that light energy can be transformed back into thermal energy when the electromagnetic waves strike another material. As a result, a material tends to cool down unless some other form of energy is converted to thermal energy in the material.
  • 4E/M6**. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that light and other electromagnetic waves can warm objects. How much an object's temperature increases depends on how intense the light striking its surface is, how long the light shines on the object, and how much of the light is absorbed.
4F. Motion
  • 4F/E3** (ASL). By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that light travels and tends to maintain its direction of motion until it interacts with an object or material. Light can be absorbed, redirected, bounced back, or allowed to pass through.

5. The Living Environment

5E. Flow of Matter and Energy
  • 5E/E2*. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that some source of "fuel" is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.
  • 5E/M3c. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that almost all food energy comes originally from sunlight.

8. The Designed World

8C. Energy Sources and Use
  • 8C/M5*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that energy from the sun (and the wind and water energy derived from it) is available indefinitely. Because the transfer of energy from these resources is weak and variable, systems are needed to collect and concentrate the energy.

11. Common Themes

11A. Systems
  • 11A/M1. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that a system can include processes as well as things.
  • 11A/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.
  • 11A/M3. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that any system is usually connected to other systems, both internally and externally. Thus a system may be thought of as containing subsystems and as being a sub-system of a larger system.
11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 11B/H5** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.

12. Habits of Mind

12C. Manipulation and Observation
  • 12C/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should be able to make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/greenhouse-light-and-temperature">The Concord Consortium. Greenhouse Light and Temperature. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2010, August 15.</a>

AIP
Greenhouse Light and Temperature (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, August 15), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/greenhouse-light-and-temperature).

AJP
Greenhouse Light and Temperature (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2010, August 15), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/greenhouse-light-and-temperature).

APA
Greenhouse Light and Temperature. (2010, August 15). Retrieved 2014, July 28, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/greenhouse-light-and-temperature

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

The Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart is required to run any of the activities. You can download it at: java.com.

The download for this activity will require 25.5 MB of disk space.

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Innovative Technology in Science InquiryThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry project.

Grade Level
Middle School
Subject
Earth and Space Science
Focus Area
Probeware
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