A Science Experiment – Noticing and Wondering

In this task, students learn about proportional relationships by analyzing data from a science experiment in which a fixed quantity of air is heated. Later, they apply what they have learned to explain why hot air balloons fly. Before, during, and after the task, they make observations and ask questions.


Temperature and Volume of Air (at constant pressure)


I wonder what °K means.
I notice that the volume increases when the temperature increases.
I wonder how the volume can increase if the amount of air does not change.
I wonder what these temperatures are in °C and °F.
I wonder how precise the measurements are.
I notice that the volumes look small.
i wonder if it is possible to use this table to predict volumes for other temperatures.
I notice that the temperature and volume measurements increase by different amounts from one column to the next.
I wonder what will happen if I compare the volumes (temperatures) to each other.
I wonder what will happen if I compare each volume to its temperature.
I wonder if this is a proportional relationship.
I wonder which quantity to put on each axis if I make a graph.
I wonder if the points on the graph will fall on a line.
I wonder how the graph would change if the temperature were measured in Celsius or Fahrenheit units.


adapted from Advanced Common Core Math Explorations: Ratios, Proportions, and Similarity (p. 64–65) by Jerry Burkhart.
Copyright 2016, Prufrock Press:
 Waco, TX. Reproduced with permission.