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Hold Everything! Comparing Insulators

Figure from experiment 12 from Elementary Science with Vernier

Introduction

Do you ever put a hot drink in a mug to keep it warm? When it is cold outside, do you put on a hat to keep warm? We do these types of things because mugs and hats are insulators, materials that keep heat in. Other materials, such as metal, are good conductors, materials that transfer heat from the source very well. You may have experienced the conductivity of metal if you’ve touched a spoon that had been in a very hot bowl of soup, or sat on a metal seatbelt that had been in the sun.

Objectives

In this activity, you will

  • Compare temperature readings from two different cups when hot or cold water is added to them.
  • Determine which material is a better conductor, and which is a better insulator.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Elementary Science with Vernier »

Experiment 12 from Elementary Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Elementary Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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