Item NG034003: The thermal energy of a toy bear in the sunlight will be greater than the thermal energy of an identical bear in the shade because more energy is transferred directly from the sun to the bear in the sunlight than to the bear in the shade.

A student places two identical toy bears on a shelf near a window.  The bears are at the same temperature.  Then the student opens the shutters on the window so that the sun shines on one of the bears but not on the other. 

Which of the following describes the thermal energy of the bears?

  1. The thermal energy of both bears will be the same because they are both in the same room.
  2. The thermal energy of both bears will be the same because they are identical bears and started out at the same temperature.
  3. The thermal energy of the bear in the sunlight will be greater than the thermal energy of the bear in the shade because more energy was transferred directly from the sun to the bear in the sunlight.
  4. The thermal energy of the bear in the sunlight will be greater than the thermal energy of the bear in the shade because more energy was transferred from the air to the bear in the sunlight but not directly from the sun.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item NG034003

Percent of students responding correctly

Overall71%
Grades 6–870%
Grades 9–1274%
Male69%
Female74%
Primary Language is English72%
Primary Language is not English64%

View data table