Thermal Energy Launch Lab

In New York, we go to school until June 20th. It’s not so bad (minus the fact that the classrooms are SO HOT and everyone is SO SWEATY) because we don’t start until after Labor Day. As soon as it hits May 1st though, it’s like the kids think we have 2 days left, not 2 months. Plus with state testing done and big field trips and end of the year events coming up, I feel like I have 3 teaching days left.

Okay, I have no idea where I was going with this.


With my 6th graders, we are starting a thermal energy/temperature/behavior of matter unit. To get started, we did this pretty cool launch lab based on a lab from our text. Students got 3 pans of water– one was ice cold, the other lukewarm, and the other hot/warm. Students placed their hands in the cold and then in the lukewarm and recorded how it felt. Students then placed their hand in the hot/warm and then in the lukewarm and again recorded results. They then drew conclusions about when sense of touch is a good indicator of temperature and when it isn’t and filled in a T-chart. This activity was great for activating background knowledge! Click on the image below to download the PDF of the lab and chart!


One response to “Thermal Energy Launch Lab

  1. We’re in for awhile too–June 22nd. I don’t mind when it comes to late August and we’re still off though!

    I really like your ideas for this lab! Thank you for sharing the files for it!

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