My Energy Transformation Lab, lesson plans found at http://gary-steelheads-fan.tripod.com/id3.html, is an example of preparing age appropriate lessons using age appropriate materials. This lab is geared
toward middle school and high school students. According to Jean Piaget's (pronounced pee-ah-jay) theory of cognitive
development, these students exceed the age group (ages 7-11) Piaget says are capable of performing the concrete operations
required for my Energy Transformation Lab. Some of those concrete operations are monitoring the caloric loss of each basketball
player during the course of a game by keeping track of minutes played. These are calculations
made strictly from physical observations. More advanced formal operations are not needed.
Before giving the Energy Transformation Lab as an assignment, I always give a homework assignment to locate
the nutrition facts label on the reverse side of packaged foods (below). I always have students bring me labels
from various snack items to prove they at least know where to find the caloric value. Snack foods are generally full
of empty calories and would not be MY personal choice for replenishing lost calories, but middle school
and high school students are almost certain to be familiar with such junk foods.
I use my Energy Transformation Lab with my students as evidenced on slide two (2) of the following power-point
presentation. My students are recording data, socially interacting, and enjoying a basketball game all at
the same time.