Heat Investigations


English Class fourth graders just can’t get enough science! Their studies of matter and properties of matter continued this week with a study of heat. The first experiment that the pupils conducted compared the temperatures on a light surface versus a dark surface when the heat source (a lamp) was equidistant from both surfaces. Once again, the scientific method of investigations was followed.


In another experiment pupils filled a jar to the brim with hot water and then added some colour to it. Next they very carefully placed an identically sized jar of clear, cold tap water precisely over the jar of coloured hot water. When the cardboard covering the mouth of the cold water jar was removed pupils were able to observe the fact that water conducts heat by watching the colour spread out into the clear water.

The experiment that had the pupils literally jumping with excitement was one where they first chilled a small mouthed bottle in very cold water, making sure that the mouth of the bottle was wet. The following step was to put a 50 cent coin completely over the mouth of the bottle to cover it. Then the pupils wrapped their warm hands around the outside of the bottle and waited for a few seconds. It didn’t take long for their teacher, Ms. Kati, to hear squeals of delight. The coins covering bottle mouths jumped because the warmed air on the inside of the bottle needed more space, thereby creating pressure and a need to escape the bottle. The coins stopped jumping when the air on the inside of the bottle cooled. Science can be such fun!

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