Indoor Activity - Dressing for Outdoors
This activity is about keeping a "mouse" warm. It is
designed to be done indoors. It teaches students about
insulating materials and dressing for the outdoors.
- Explain the word insulation.
- Insulation is a material that does not conduct heat or cold
- Most of our cool weather clothing uses insulating materials -
down, fur, wool or synthetic materials.
- Give each student or pair of students a clean, empty film
canister with a tight fitting lid. The canister will soon be filled
with hot water and become their "mouse".
- Challenge the students to make or find an insulator that will
keep the "mouse" warmer than another "mouse" in the room.
- Display a variety of insulating materials the students can use.
- Example include: wool, nylon, cotton, styrofoam, dish washing
- You could include items from the school's lost and found such
as scarves and mitts.
- Have tape, pins, twine and other fastening materials
- Make an insulating jacket for their canister.
- Get their canisters filled with hot tap water.
- Record the water temperature.
- Quickly place their "mouse" in its insulating jacket.
- Place their labeled canister on a table with the other
- Measure the water temperature every 10-15 minutes over a
two-hour period. Record both time and temperature.
- Plot their data on graph paper.
- Also plot data from three of four "mice" that had jackets made
of different materials.
- Based on your graph, who made the best insulator?
- Why do you think it worked so well?
- Which materials make the best insulator?
- Which materials make the poorest insulator?
- How could you improve your "mouse" insulator next time?
- What conclusions can you draw about selecting clothes for cool