Nicole Ray
1 year ago
Last Updated
2 months ago
In this project, students gather data on the energy stored in food samples through the use of a calorimeter. Students calculate the number of calories contained in their samples, then compare to food labels. Students will notice a discrepancy in the energy they calculated and that reported on the food labels. Students will consider a retracted study that's frequently cited by anti GMO organizations to consider scientifically sound experimental design principles. With their growing experimental design skills, students will evaluate the calorimetry experiment to determine where the methods might be improved. Based on their findings, students redesign the experiment in an effort to increase the accuracy of their results. Students might find a change in procedure and or materials may assist in attaining a greater level of accuracy in their experimental results when tested and compared to their initial data.

This student centered project follows the 5E instructional model. It aligns with California Science Framework Chemistry in Instructional Segment 1- Combustion as well as the UCCI Chemistry in Agriscience Course. This lesson serves as a vehicle to facilitate engagement in investigation of energy, systems, model making, as well as to focus on Science and Engineering practices that build skills necessary for the successful planning and execution of an independent or small group research project.

This project is brought to you by Nicole Ray with support from the CTE Online curriculum leadership team and detailed coordination provided by Team Lead Laura Gallardo.


Industries / Pathways
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources Agriculture & Natural Resources
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

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I smell a rat! Methods and Ethics Matter

Calorimeter Redesign