RET 2007: Christina Levyssohn-Silva

Christina Levyssohn-Silva

Intern: Christina Levyssohn-Silva
Mentor: Thomas Feil
Faculty: Jim Allen









Curriculum Overview:

Based on my participation in Jim Allen’s UCSB research group, which examines energy absorption by proteins, this curriculum will act as a culminating activity that summarizes the middle school energy transfer standards. The focus concepts that will be addressed in the curriculum are heat conduction and convection, and the radiation of solar energy. The students will address these standards through a set of guided and inquiry based labs during which they build simple solar ovens. A nanotechnology theme will be incorporated throughout the curriculum in order to provide students with the opportunity to learn and get excited about front-of-the-line research and the future of science. The science of cooking will be used as a vehicle to relate energy transfer to the nanotechnology research on proteins that I participated in. Students will learn how heat energy absorption alters molecular structures enabling us to cook foods.


Previous Learning:

Prior to this lesson series, the students will have learned the basics of temperature and heat. They will have learned that temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of molecules and will be able to measure temperature on the Celsius scale. After gaining an understanding of temperature, students will have learned that heat is a transfer of energy and that heat flows from warm to cool objects until they reach equilibrium. They will have learned the terms conduction, convection, and radiation during this sub-unit. Students will have been taught about how heat changes physical states of matter, as well as how chemical changes can occur with the addition of thermal energy. The students will have, further, been introduced to various types of heating technology, such as solar heating in homes. This curriculum will act as a culminating activity to the heat energy unit and will lead into lessons on the greenhouse effect.


Preparatory Guide Organization:

This curriculum is divided into three sections: a guided solar oven lab, an inquiry-based solar oven lab, and a follow-up activity focused on the science of cooking, incorporating into the lessons a nanoscale theme. In the following teacher’s preparatory guide, you will find a section for each segment of the curriculum. The guide includes instructions, guiding questions, and student worksheets with answer keys.


Curriculum Developed:

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Solar Oven


Click here to view the video of preparing for the solar oven lab.

Click here to view the video of making the solar oven.

Click here to view the video of testing and improving the solar oven.

Technical and educational staff services are possible through the generosity of the National Science Foundation through support via the NNIN.