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Engineering and Design: Chemical Hand Warmers

Kit #493S
Engineering and Design: Chemical Hand Warmers

Students undertake a design challenge to construct and test a hand warmer device that uses the thermal energy released from an iron exothermic reaction. In Part One students initially observe a teacher demonstration then brainstorm and sketch several possible designs and choose one to build as a prototype and test. When testing their designs, students analyze and evaluate their results and brainstorm ideas for further modification. In Part 2, students redesign, construct, test, and evaluate hand warmers using the same reaction as in Part 1 but with an additional criterion introduced—students must consider how to control the start of the chemical reaction in their design modifications. Students brainstorm new designs that will allow users to start the chemical reaction when they want to use the hand warmer. These designs may be redesigns of those developed in Part 1 or may be totally new. Students discuss designs and choose one to build as a prototype. Pairs of students exchange prototypes, test and evaluate them, then think about what modifications can help optimize their designs.

Details at a Glance

  • 2-3 Days | 2-3 ~50 minute class periods
  • 2 Activities
  • Accommodates 1 class, with 8 groups of 4 students
  • Consumables service 32 students
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP
  • Requires a water source

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Engineering and Design: Chemical Hand Warmers (Developed by SEPUP)

Need to Extend Your Kit Materials?

Scientific Concepts

Performance Expectation
Disciplinary Core Ideas
•MS-PS1.B Chemical Reactions
•MS-ETS1.B Developing Possible Solutions
•MS-ETS1.C Optimizing the Design Solution
•MS-PS3.A Definitions of Energy
Science and Engineering Practices
•Analyzing and Interpreting Data
•Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts
•Energy and Matter
KEY VOCABULARY: constraints, engineering design process, criteria, exothermic,
engineer, prototype

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 20 large sealable plastic bags
  • 10 small sealable plastic bags
  • 10 medium sealable plastic bags
  • 24 scoops (5-cc)
  • 8 scoops (30-cc)
  • 8 graduated cups (30-mL)
  • 8 immersion thermometers
  • 1 bottle of iron filings
  • 1 bottle of calcium chloride
  • 1 bottle of absorbent beads
  • 32 Student Worksheet and Guides
  • 1 Teacher’s Guide
  • 1 Safety Data Sheet (SDS) packet
  • Not included and needed for instruction: Chemical splash googles, timers or clock with a second hand.