Nanuet Union Free School District
101 Church Street
Nanuet, New York  10954


Area of Study:  Science

Grade Level/Course:  Chemistry
Heating and Cooling Curves

developed by:  S. Romeo and K. Charles

Nanuet Learner Standard(s): 

Effective Communicator
Lifelong Learner
Resourceful Reasoner


New York State Learning Standard(s): 

MST Standard 1:  Analysis, Inquiry, and Design  (Commencement Level)

Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.

MST Standard 2: Information Systems (Commencement Level)

Students will access, generate, process and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Key Idea 1:  Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

MST Standard 4: Science  Physical Setting (Commencement Level)

Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Key Idea 3: Matter is made up of particles whose properties determines the observable characteristics of matter and its reactivity.


Nanuet Content Standard(s): 

Science: Standard 1  (High School Level)

Students identify problems and are able to design, conduct, communicate about, and evaluate scientific investigations.

Instructional Technology Standard 3:  Productivity  (High School Level)

Students will use technology and its applications to maximize personal and professional productivity.


Benchmarks (New York State/Nanuet):      


  • Explain the properties of materials in terms of the arrangement and properties of the atoms that compose them.
  • Apply the principle of conservation of mass to chemical reactions.
  • Use kinetic molecular theory to explain rates of reactions and the relationships among temperature, pressure, and volume of a substance.
  • Use various means of representing and organizing observations (e.g., diagrams, tables, charts, graphs, equations, matrices) and insightfully interpret the organized data.

Instructional Technology:

  • Uses technological tools to predict outcomes, solve problems, formulate and represent solutions and make decisions.
  • Understands and uses the more advanced features of word processing, spreadsheets, and database software.


  • Matter
  • Energy
  • Phases of matter (solid, liquid, gas)
  • Define chemistry


  • Compare and contrast three phases of matter with respect to volume, energy and shape
  • Quantify the effects of temperature and pressure on the volume of a gas
  • Interpret phase change diagrams

Context for the Task:

Matter and Energy

Essential Questions:

  1. What distinguishes pure science from applied science?
  2. How can one apply the Law of Conservation of Mass to a chemical reaction?
  3. In terms of the Kinetic Theory, what are the properties of solids, liquids, and gases?
  4. How does energy play a role in chemical reactions?
  5. Using Kinetic Theory, what is the theoretical basis for gas laws formulated by Boyle, Charles, Dalton, and Graham?


You will study the effects of heating and cooling a pure substance through a change of phase. Determine the freezing and melting point temperatures of a pure substance. Construct a graph in Microsoft Excel using the data for time, freezing and melting point temperature. Please refer to the Heating and Cooling Lab Manual for more detailed instructions.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Referring to your graph, determine the freezing point of 1,4-dichlorobenzene. How does this temperature compare with the melting point temperature of the same substance as indicated on the graph?
  2. Explain the diagonal parts of the cooling curve in terms of changes in kinetic and potential energy. Do the same for the horizontal portions of the cooling curves.
  3. What phase of changes are exothermic? Endothermic?
  4. In Which phase of a substance do its particles have the greatest average kinetic energy?

Time and Materials Required to Complete the Task: 

Time:  One Chemistry Lab session (two periods).

Materials:  Access to a computer and MS Excel.


  • Test tube, 18x150mm
  • Wire Gauze
  • Cork (to fit test tube)
  • Test Tube Clamp
  • Beaker, 250ml
  • Lab Burner
  • Thermometer
  • Safety Glasses
  • Ring Stand
  • Stop Watch (or timer with second hand)
  • Iron Ring
  • Blue Pencil
  • Test Tube Rack
  • Red Pencil


  • Stearic Acid
  • Water

Teaching Tips: 


Possible Solutions:






Updated 12/03/02