Investigations
An investigation is the center of project based learning. In PBS classrooms, students explore the driving question using new ideas that they're learning, and they investigate the driving question over a sustained period of time (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006). During an investigation students reason through problems and find out what they already knew and what they should know in order to complete the project. By exploring the driving question, learners take part in various scientific practices (Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006).
Investigation 1
Overview
Students will use a calorimeter to test different ingredients they want to include in their energy bars. Students will calculate the calorie content of the food they burn using the equation for heat capacity. The goal of this investigation is for students to understand energy changes in reactions, that energy is conserved, and general laws of thermodynamics. The level of inquiry will be between a level 2 and level 3. The students will be given the question (how many calories in your ingredient?) but will not be given a complete procedure. The students will need some guidance with how to properly get measurements from the calorimeter, but they will be choosing their own ingredients and coming up with their own data collection and analysis method. Students will not be given a solution to the problem, as they will decide what ingredients are best for their individual energy bars based on the data.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
TEKS Addressed
Students will use a calorimeter to test different ingredients they want to include in their energy bars. Students will calculate the calorie content of the food they burn using the equation for heat capacity. The goal of this investigation is for students to understand energy changes in reactions, that energy is conserved, and general laws of thermodynamics. The level of inquiry will be between a level 2 and level 3. The students will be given the question (how many calories in your ingredient?) but will not be given a complete procedure. The students will need some guidance with how to properly get measurements from the calorimeter, but they will be choosing their own ingredients and coming up with their own data collection and analysis method. Students will not be given a solution to the problem, as they will decide what ingredients are best for their individual energy bars based on the data.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Determine the amount of chemical energy in an ingredient based on data collected from a calorimeter.
 Understand the principle of calorimetry and how it is used to measure heat of a system.
 Decide the most efficient ingredient for their energy bar based on calculations.
TEKS Addressed
 Chemistry 2F: collect data and make measurements with accuracy and precision
 Chemistry 2G: express and manipulate chemical quantities using scientific conventions and mathematical procedures, including dimensional analysis, scientific notation, and significant figures
 Chemistry 2H: organize, analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data
 Chemistry 11B: understand the law of conservation of energy and the processes of heat transfer
 Chemistry 11C: use thermochemical equations to calculate energy changes that occur in chemical reactions and classify reactions as exothermic or endothermic
 Chemistry 11D: perform calculations involving heat, mass, temperature change, and specific heat
 Chemistry 11E: use calorimetry to calculate the heat of a chemical process




Investigation 2
Overview
Students will have to build their energy bar using the following guide:
Core > Fruits > Nuts > Sweets > Name
When designing their energy bar students will have to consider four nutritional facts: calories, total fat, sugars, and proteins. Students will be given constraints as to how much of each ingredient can go into the energy bar. This will make use of systems of equations/inequalities because students will have to decide, for example, how much sugar and protein they can add to their energy bar to ensure that it does not exceed a certain amount of calories.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
TEKS Addressed
Students will have to build their energy bar using the following guide:
Core > Fruits > Nuts > Sweets > Name
When designing their energy bar students will have to consider four nutritional facts: calories, total fat, sugars, and proteins. Students will be given constraints as to how much of each ingredient can go into the energy bar. This will make use of systems of equations/inequalities because students will have to decide, for example, how much sugar and protein they can add to their energy bar to ensure that it does not exceed a certain amount of calories.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Reason abstractly and quantitatively
 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
 Model with mathematics
 Use algebraic methods to solve systems of equations or inequalities.
 Interpret and determine the reasonableness of solutions to systems of equations or inequalities for given contexts.
TEKS Addressed
 Algebra II 3: Foundations for functions. The student formulates systems of equations & inequalities from problem situations, uses a variety of methods to solve them & analyzes the solutions in terms of the situations.
 Algebra II 3A: The student is expected to analyze situations and formulate systems of equations in two or more unknowns or inequalities in two unknowns to solve problems.
 Algebra II 3B: The student is expected to use algebraic methods, graphs, tables, or matrices, to solve systems of equations or inequalities
 Algebra II 3C: The student is expected to interpret and determine the reasonableness of solutions to systems of equations or inequalities for given contexts.



Investigation 3
Overview
Once students have calculated the parameters for the design of their energy bar, they must design a wrapper for the energy bar. The students are given three options for the shape of the energy bar: square prism, triangular prism, and rectangular prism. Students must design a wrapper and give a price quote on the wrappers given possible energy bar designs and dimensions.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
TEKS Addressed
Once students have calculated the parameters for the design of their energy bar, they must design a wrapper for the energy bar. The students are given three options for the shape of the energy bar: square prism, triangular prism, and rectangular prism. Students must design a wrapper and give a price quote on the wrappers given possible energy bar designs and dimensions.
Objectives
Students will be able to:
 Solve realworld and mathematical problems involving areas, surface area, volume, and ratios.
 Develop a strategy for finding surface area in a realworld problem.
 Solve realworld and mathematical problems involving surface area of threedimensional figures using nets.
 Draw a net for a threedimensional figure.
TEKS Addressed
 Geometry 4: Geometric structure. The student uses a variety of representations to describe geometric relationships and solve problems. The student is expected to select an appropriate representation (concrete, pictorial, graphical, verbal, or symbolic) in order to solve problems.
 Geometry 5A: use numeric and geometric patterns to develop algebraic expressions representing geometric properties
 Geometry 6A: describe and draw the intersection of a given plane with various threedimensional geometric figures


