Burning & Balancing – The Energy Equation

It’s hard to believe that it is Week 6 already! At the end of Week 4 students completed the Quadratics SAT aimed at mathematically modelling the motion of a projectile, selecting and converting between the appropriate forms of quadratic equations and using our knowledge of energy transformations to review the amount of potential and kinetic energy in the catapult scenario. 

We have now turned our minds to chemistry in the form of combustion reactions. Students have reviewed the requirements for combustion reactions in the form of fuel and oxygen and the compounds produced from these reactions in the form of carbon dioxide and water. Using a range of hydrocarbon fractions, we have explored the flammability and enthalpy of different types of alcohol fuels connecting this to the number of carbon atoms present in these compounds.

This leads us into our second assessment task which is a scientific poster exploring the relationship between the fuel type and the calculated enthalpy. Students will put their understandings of balancing chemical reactions, calculating the molar mass and number of moles for a compound and their calculations of enthalpy to good use to communicate the findings of their scientific investigation to their peers. They will also develop their science inquiry skills in the form of analysis and evaluation of data transferring their statistical knowledge from Body in Question to mathematically justify their conclusions.

The end of Week 7 sees us move from Module 1 – Burn the World into our second module – Set Fire to the Sky where students will explore atomic energy and the historical impacts (both beneficial and detrimental) around humanity harnessing such power.