Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Hold Everything! Comparing Insulators


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.


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.

Option 1

Option 2

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 Investigating Temperature »

Investigating Temperature

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Are We Cool or What?
2Why Do We Need Thermometers?
3Celsius or Fahrenheit. What's the Difference?
4Getting it Just Right!
5The Temperature Probe Spends the Night
6Hold Everything! Comparing Insulators
7Keepin' it Cool! Design Your Own Thermos
8I'm Melting! Water Changes States
9Solid, Liquid, Gas: Water Can Do it All!
10Cool Reaction! The Reaction of Baking Soda and Vinegar

Experiment 6 from Investigating Temperature Lab Book

<i>Investigating Temperature</i> 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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