The students will experiment to see what would make a good coat for being in a climate that is freezing.

Prior Knowledge:
Students will have studied Antarctica and its climate.

Wool batting, cotton batting, polyester batting, feathers in a plastic bag, empty water bottles, plastic bags for each bottle, scales, thermometers, ice water, warm water and digital camera to record experiment.

After studying about the climate in Antarctica, the students will test to see what material makes the best insulation for coats.

Time Period:
Two 45 minute classes

Students will weigh the different battings and feathers to make them all the same weight.
The students will wrap each bottle in a different batting or plastic bag of feathers.
Place each bottle in a plastic bag.
When all the bottles are prepared, pour equal amounts of warm water (98 degrees F) into them.
Place a thermometer in each bottle. Put the bottles in the ice water.
Check the temperature of each bottle at 1 minute, 5 minutes, and ten minutes.
On a spreadsheet, record the temperatures. (see Spreadsheet page)
Create a graph showing the temperatures.

The students will use the graph to decide which insulation should work best for coats in Antarctica.
Which insulation keep the water the warmest? Which one cooled down the fastest? Why? Which one do you think would be the best for Antarctica?
Write your answers.

Students will be graded using a rubric.

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Lessons for Elementary Students

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These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI and Rice University.

Copyright © by Margaret M. Slutz, July 29, 2004


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