Judy Day (The Science House, Raleigh, NC) has students and workshop participants use our new Surface Temperature Sensor to examine the increase of muscle temperature as a team member lifts a 2-3 lb (1 kg) weight. The Surface Temperature Sensor is designed for use in situations in which low thermal mass and/or flexibility is required. It has an exposed thermistor that results in an extremely rapid response time; therefore, it is ideal for this experiment.

A student places the tip of the temperature against the bicep muscle for at least one minute to allow the probe to equilibrate with the skin and muscle’s temperature. Meanwhile, another student sets up the data collection for a 3-minute experiment, taking one reading every second. Once the temperature has stabilized, data collection is started. After collecting muscle temperature for about 15 seconds, the student begins lifting the weight (curling the arm), while another student continues holding the Surface Temperature Sensor against the muscle.

When the data collection has ended, students are asked to explain why the muscle temperature has increased by 1.5 to 3