Buildings can be designed to retain heat in the winter while also helping them to remain cool in the summer. Insulation and heat storage are important factors in such a system. A thermal mass, a material that absorbs and stores heat, is one example of a design feature that can be used to help control the temperature in a building.

In this experiment, you will examine the effectiveness of different design features. Two model homes, one that will act as a control and one that you modify, will be heated by a light bulb. Temperature sensors will monitor their temperatures throughout a simulated day and night.


  • Use Surface Temperature Sensors to measure temperature.
  • Design, build, and test a model solar home.
  • Compare your results to the data collected by other groups.