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Melissa Chesterfield

Students designed a project to demonstrate heat transfer and used thermal energy cameras to provide evidence for classroom reporting

2021 STEM Scholar
Shelbyville, KY Marnel C. Moorman School

Melissa’s Big Idea:
Melissa’s students designed a project to learn about heat transfer, designed ways to maximize or minimize heat transfer, and provided evidence of transfer using thermal energy cameras. Students were provided with materials to build models of their own design – they then visualized how energy moves and communicated whether their design is releasing or absorbing energy. Students developed skills through the use of science and engineering practices: questioning, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing data, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.This project helped students unpack and visualize the fundamental physics concept of heat transfer.

Fun Facts:
Melissa has spent 10 of her 18 years teaching as an STLP (Student Technology Leadership Program) coach and team leader in addition to being a middle school drama director.

In her own words: “In my experience teaching this concept, I've realized there are many misconceptions around what happens when something cold comes in contact with something warm. Many students are blown away to realize that cold is just the absence of heat. They have a hard time understanding how heat is lost or transfers away from warm things into the cold.”