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FlinnPREP Inquiry Labs for AP® Environmental Science: Specific Heat and Climate

By: The Flinn Staff

The FlinnPREP Inquiry Labs for AP® Environmental Science: Specific Heat and Climate allows students to carry out a controlled experiment to determine how specific heat affects the temperature of geological materials and influences climate. Includes access to exclusive FlinnPREP™ digital content to combine the benefits of classroom, laboratory and digital learning. Each blended learning lab solution includes prelab videos about concepts, techniques and procedures, summary videos that relate the experiment to the AP® exam, built-in student lab safety training with assessments, and standards-based, tested inquiry labs with real sample data. FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab Solutions are adaptable to you and how you teach with multiple ways to access and run your AP labs.

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In this inquiry lab, students carry out a controlled experiment to determine how specific heat affects the temperature of geological materials and influences climate. They also learn about the importance of the reflectivity or albedo of different surfaces on Earth, such as ice and water, or desert and forest. Students measure temperature versus time data for four materials—water, soil, black sand and white sand—and graph the results. When exposed to the same amount of light for the same amount of time, these four materials have very different final temperatures. Use the data collected during the experiment and the graphical analysis as a starting point for discussions about urban heat islands, thermal pollution and contemporary climate issues