Engineering a Hot Pack

Hot Pack
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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will collect data to characterize a chemical reaction

  2. Students will identify the criteria and constraints of an engineering challenge.

  3. Students will design and build a hot pack that meets the criteria of the project.

  4. Students will collect data to support their proposed design. 

Lesson Number:
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours

Through a series of inquiry activities, students will discover the properties of the chemical reaction of dissolving CaCl2 in water, the effect of stirring, and of adding baking soda and sodium polyacrylate crystals. Once initial data is collected, students will share preliminary data through the collaborative inquiry gallery walk protocol practiced in Lesson 2, test a second iteration of their design, and propose an optimized design to meet specified criteria. 

Other Material(s) Used:
plastic cups, thermometer, timer, calcium chloride, baking soda, sodium polyacrylate crystals (miracle gro water storing crystals)