Insulation Materials Investigation

Don't melt away! Pairs investigate different insulation materials to determine which one is better than the others. Using a low-temp heat plate, the teams insulate an ice cube from the heat source with a variety of substances. They measure the time it takes to melt the cube, record the data, and draw conclusions to determine the best.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Conduct the experiment again using a different heating method to determine whether the best insulation is still superior
  • Have the class develop a plan to determine how much of an insulation material is needed to match the efficiency of another insulation
Classroom Considerations

  • You'll need to create same-sized ice cubes 
  • The hot plate needs to be low-temperature so as not to melt the plastic cups

  • Utilizes the scientific method to gather the data
  • Provides alternative method in case time runs short

  • None