MYP 10

Unit 10.4.1: What is energy?


  • To know that energy may be transferred electromagnetically
  • To understand that the concept of temperature is a human construction
  • To know that energy is expressed by particles as motion
  • To know that average kinetic energy of particles is proportional to the temperature
  • To recall the effect of increased particular motion on matter
  • To understand the operation of a thermometer and units of measurement, both Celsius and Kelvin


Teacher lead discussion covering the following concepts:

  • Hot and cold
  • Human senses - mechanism of temperature assessment - problem of communication
  • Temperature scales - Fahrenheit and Celsius
  • The absolute termperature scale, Kelvin
  • Interconvertion between Celsius and Kelvin.
  • The difficulty of defining energy (the capacity to do 'work')
  • Types of energy and their interconversion
  • The law of conservation of energy
  • Heat energy in terms of molecular vibrations
  • Energy transfer in terms of electromagnetic radiation, conduction and convection
  • Chemical potential energy

Student follow up

The students are provided with a strong acid and a strong base and asked to investigate the temperature change when the two are mixed using volumes that total 40cm3.

They are asked to look for patterns and principles.


No assessment

Teaching notes

This can also be used to introduce heat losses and inaccuracy, as different groups using the same volumes will produce slightly different data.



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