During their descent from space, the astronauts' capsule encounters extreme temperatures due to adiabatic compression. This lesson introduces students to this phenomenon with a fire syringe demonstration. Then, they work with commercial sensors to investigate the ideal gas law. Finally, they use their findings to inform discussions about the required criteria for heat shield design.

This activity is suitable for students ages 10-18 years.

Interested in getting started? Go to Understanding adiabatic compression and the ideal gas law for lesson materials.

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