Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

An Insulated Cola Bottle

Figure from experiment 12 from Physical Science with Vernier


Insulation slows the flow of heat. Glass, plastics such as Styrofoam, wool, fiber glass, aluminum foil, air, and a vacuum are some of the many “materials” used for heat insulation. Homes and insulated devices, such as vacuum bottles and coolers, often use a combination of insulating materials. In this experiment, you will first study the heat insulation properties of some materials. Then you will compete with your classmates in an attempt to build the best insulated cola bottle.


In this experiment, you will

  • Investigate the insulating properties of aluminum foil, paper (cardboard), and plastic (Styrofoam).
  • Use a computer to measure temperatures.
  • Determine change in temperature, Δt.
  • Make a bar graph of the Δt values.
  • Compare the effectiveness of different insulation materials.
  • Build a well-insulated cola bottle.

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 Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 12 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</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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