Featured in PASCO’s Chemistry through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Chemistry through Inquiry Teacher Guide


Features over 25 inquiry based labs covering the fundamental concepts of lab skills, structure & properties of matter, chemical reactions and more.

Specific Heat

Lab Summary

Use a fast response temperature sensor to determine the identity of an unknown metal by calculating the specific heat of the metal and comparing it to a list of known values.


Experimentally determine the identity of an unknown metal. Through this investigation, students:

  • Differentiate the concepts of temperature and heat.
  • Understand the fundamental components of specific heat.


Students conduct the following procedures:

  • Record physical observations of the unknown substance.
  • Use a calorimeter to measure the temperature change inside.
  • Calculate specific heat of an unknown metal.
  • Identify the metal from a list of options.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Chemistry Sensor


Allows students to measure Temperature, pH/ISE/ORP, Absolute Pressure & Voltage in one sensor. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Materials Used:

Beaker, 250-mL 
Beaker, 400-mL 
Graduated cylinder, 100-mL 
Balance, centigram 
Hot plate 
Polystyrene cup - 2
Lid for the polystyrene cup 
Paper towels - As needed
Water (from the tap) - 250 mL
Distilled (deionized) water - 200 mL
Metal sample, unknown, up to 4 × 4 × 4 cm

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Chemistry Starter Sensor Bundle


A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your chemistry lab. Also: perform 22 Lab Activities from Chemistry through Inquiry teacher guide.

Option 2:

Chemistry Standard Sensor Bundle


Contains the sensors and probes needed to perform all 17 experiments in the Advanced Chemistry Teacher Guide and all 25 labs in the Chemistry through Inquiry Guide.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.