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Heat, Light and Sound - Test Time!

Your goal will be to compare materials. In the process, determine those which are best able to conduct heat and those which insulate and prevent heat energy transfer.  Before you begin, form a hypothesis on which objects you think will be good heat conductors.  Next, rank each object on its conductivity.  (In other words, which ones do you think will get the hottest?) 

*** = hot

** = warm

* = no change

Materials:

  • Warm water (as hot as you can touch and not hurt yourself)
  • Containers to hold water as listed below

Procedure:

  1. Find as many of the objects as you can for testing.
  2. Fill each object half full of very warm water.
  3. Wait for two minutes.
  4. Touch the outside of the object and see if it is warmer than it was at the beginning.
  5. If the object got warm, then write warm in the "Result" column.
  6. If the object did not get warm write not warm in the "Result" column.
Object

*** = hot

** = warm

* = no change

Hypothesis

Result
Paper cup    
Metal pan    
Styrofoam cup    
Plastic cup or bowl    
Wooden cup or container    
Glass cup    

Analysis:

  1. In what ways are the objects that get warmer similar to each other?
  2. In what ways are the objects that do not get warmer similar to each other?
  3. List other objects that you predict will get warmer when you put warm water on them. Try them and see if you are correct.
  4. What other objects do you predict will not get warmer when you put warm water on them? Try them and see if you are correct.
  5. Was your hypothesis correct?  Why or why not?
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