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Heat Learning Programme

Heat as an example of an integrated learning programme

Heat in the context of a learning programme for plastics manufacturing



The context for these discussions and resources is the South African National Qualification Qualifications Framework and the Skills Development Act which introduced learnerships and skills programmes.


1. Defining the outcomes

Activity 1


Purpose of learning. What do we need to achieve?

Qualification, unit standards, outcomes and how this part relates to the whole.

Present the concept of heat which underpins the whole conversion of plastics, affects the materials in different ways etc. Link the concept of heat to science, technology personal safety and heath and propose it as a topic which underpins the learning programme overall

Present overview of learning process and how we will assess the learning?

Developing a learning contract for this topic/module

who does what

responsibilities of facilitator

responsibilities of learner

Seek agreement


2. Pre-assessment

Activity 2


What do you already know about heat?

  • Concepts, experiences

Groups of about three; get them to share and record their own knowledge; organise, summarise and report

In addition provide pointers to reinforce the following:

CO*: Working in teams: Share, decide what's most relevant, nominate someone to report

CO: Working with information: Cluster concepts and experiences into similar types; introduce and practice mind maps or tables or some other form of categorisation

CO: Communication: Prepare and present summary of group work

* CO: = critical cross-filed education and training outcome


3. Investigation

Activity 3


What do we already know?

Identify heating and cooling systems in the workplace - Compile a report

Walk through factory, offices and parking lot. Identify devices which produce, transport and extract, collect or dissipate heat. Identify components, instruments, safety equipment which relate to heat.

Organise the information into a table with the following headings:

|Name of unit | Key components | Process | Safety-related items|

Provide pointers to the following:

CO: Working with information: Cluster similar devices (heating, cooling)

CO: Communication: Compile a report (introduce basics of report writing)


4. Formal learning

Activity 4

(Structured learning, self-study)

What do we know?

  • What is heat?
  • What are concepts related to heat (expansion and contraction; change of state; measurement units...)

Look up, read and summarise the information from... Extract from the summaries the answer to the above questions

Resources: Notes, textbook, CD ROM etc.

Provide pointers to the following

CO: Working with info: Making notes

CO: Communication: Present the information as a written report with appropriate diagrams


5. Formative assessment

Activity 5

(Formative assessment)

Test: Explain key concepts related to heat and give examples of where these concepts are found in this factory, office or immediate surroundings

Resource: Assessment tool - Heat 01


6. Revision


Activity 6


Based on formative assessment.

  • How did we do?
  • What did we find difficult?
  • What did we know before and what have we learned now?
  • How does this help us achieve our overall learning outcomes?


7. Measuring heat


Activity 7

(Structured learning, lesson plus practical)

Measuring heat and instrumentation

  • Concepts: Expansion and contraction; measuring heat - units, instruments, principles of the measurement process
  • Sensory cues for measuring temperature (nose, hand to detect warm air (warm air rises))

Provide pointers to the following

CO: Using science and technology: Using looking after and storing instruments; accuracy; reading accurately; analogue, digital, numeric and numeric control

Resources: Notes, equipment and instrument manuals; Equipment - thermometers, pyrometers, temperature controllers.


8. Effects of heat on people


Activity 8

(Structured learning, lesson, field study)

Who here has been burned? Construct a table

|Caused by | Severity | Treatment | Recovery time | Recovery percentage | Residual problems |

  • Burns, nature of problem, causes, different types
  • Treatment
  • Prevention: Personal Protective Equipment

Visit to local hospital: Plan visit, organise transport arrange to interview superintendent, ward sister, patients in burn unit

  • Determine percentage of cases admitted being treated for burns; most frequent cause; recovery rates;

Compile a group report

CO: Organise: Planning process; determining and arranging resources, allocating work,

CO: Communication: Structured questions, conducting interviews, telephone etiquette, structuring a report

CO: Working with information: Collecting compiling and verifying information of different types


9. Effects of heat on plastics

Activity 9

(Structured learning, lesson, practical and workplace experience)

Demonstrate action of heat on semi-crystalline, amorphous and cross-linked polymers

Explanation of effects on molecular structure

Resources: Hot plates, hot air gun, pellets, sheets and strips of various types of polymer, unpigmented, paraffin wax (candles)


  • melting, flow, cooling
  • elasticity of melt
  • thermal reversion
  • crystalline melting point…

CO: Use science and technology










47. Summative assessment




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