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Student Field Trip

Gary Steelheads Fan

Science 6, Science 7, Science 8, and Physics
Lesson Plans

Attention educators! Make a trip to a Steelheads game a learning experience.

An Energy Transformation Lab
Science lab at a Steelheads game
How many calories does a basketball player burn during a game?

Date:                                  Sometime during basketball season

Subject Matter:                  Energy Transformation  Lab

Course/Grade Level:        Physics, Science 6, 7, and Science 8

Lesson Title:                      Basketball Players and Calories Burned

Time Period:                     Approximately 5 Days

Objectives:  The students will be able to (SWBAT):

Use the concepts of temperature, thermal energy, transfer of thermal energy, and the mechanical equivalent of heat to predict the results of an energy transfer.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (Physics.1.13)

Organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal.  Use tables and graphs as examples of evidence for explanations when writing essays or writing about lab work, fieldwork, etc.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (6.2.5)

Read analog and digital meters on instruments used to make direct measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, or temperatures, and choose appropriate units.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (7.2.6)

Incorporate circle charts, bar and line graphs, diagrams, scatter plots, and symbols into writing, such as lab or research reports, to serve as evidence for claims and/or conclusions.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (7.2.7)

Explain that energy in the form of heat is almost always one of the products of an energy transformation, such as in the examples of exploding stars, biological growth, the operation of machines, and the motion of people.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (7.3.14)

Use tables, charts, and graphs in making arguments and claims in, for example, oral and written presentations about lab or fieldwork.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (8.2.8)

Describe how animals get their energy from oxidizing their food and releasing some of this energy as heat.  Indiana Academic Standard for Science (8.4.6)

Materials/Equipment/Technology/Resources Needed:

At the game:

Watch (or stopwatch), pencil, notepad, and digital camera.  Transportation and tickets to Gary Steelheads basketball game.

In the classroom:

Computer access for each student, Microsoft Word software,  LCD projector (optional) for teacher's computer.

Procedures for meeting objectives:

(Physics.1.13, 6.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.3.14, 8.4.6) Students will monitor the caloric loss of each professional basketball player during the course of a basketball game by keeping track of minutes played.  The basketball players will burn calories equally at a rate of 70 calories per minute played*.  The students must determine how many calories a player must at least input during a 24 hour period to replace calories lost during a game.  *Note: Humans, like all other animals, burn calories at various rates.  It is stated that each basketball player equally burns 70 calories per each minute played for the sake of experimentation only.

(Physics.1.13) Physics students will monitor the caloric loss of each basketball player for half of the game, then they will predict how many calories are burned for each player the remainder of the game based on first half observations.

(6.2.5, 7.2.7, 8.2.8) Back in the classroom: Students will organize data into a data table like the one below and choose the most appropriate graph to interpret the data.  Photos taken at the game can be used to aid any presentations relating to this lab.

Student Assessment Procedures:

Students will be given an all essay test on energy transformations (calories gained and calories lost).  Student understanding will also be assessed through a possible science fair project based on this lab.


Player's Name
Minutes Played
Calories Burned
Mister Parr
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