Driving question : How much energy is there in food?

This is an activity in which different student groups can investigate different items of food. A sample of a food of known mass is burned, heating a calorimeter. Students record the temperature of water heated in the colorimeter, calculate the energy transferred to the water, and hence estimate the energy present per unit mass of food.

Topic: Thermochemistry,
Concepts: Biological molecules, Energy, Energy content, Energy transformation, Heat,
Grade level: High School (14-18 years), Middle School (11-14 years),
Activity type: Data logging,
Sensors: Temperature sensor,
Interface requirements: Single analog sensor input,

The Student Worksheet gives investigation instructions for students.

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The Teacher Notes includes teacher commentaries such as didactical approach, exemplary questions, assignments and data analysis.

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The Science Background describes the scientific principles that underlie the activity.

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Coach Activity/Result file can be opened in the Coach 7 Program. This requires Coach 7 to be installed on your computer.

Download activity Energy content of food (.cma7)