Insulation is an important component of energy-efficient buildings. Insulation reduces both the energy required for wintertime heating and summertime cooling. Fiber glass, rock wool, cellulose, polyurethane foam, polystyrene foam, and foil-faced paper, polyethylene bubbles, and plastic film are common insulation materials. Basic insulation forms include blanket (batts or rolls), loose-fill, spray-applied, rigid insulation, and reflective systems.
In the Preliminary Activity, you will monitor the temperature of a bottle of warm water as it cools for three minutes and determine its cooling rate.
After completing the Preliminary Activity, you will first use reference sources to find out more about insulation before you choose and investigate a researchable question.
Later, you will use the class research results as you insulate the bottle in preparation for a contest to see which group can make the best-insulated bottle, as determined by lowest cooling rate.
Sensors and Equipment
This investigation requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for the Preliminary Activity
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the Preliminary Activity does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.