February 22nd, 2018

Praxis: Get absorbed in this experiment and the Regional Science Fair

By Medicine Hat News on February 3, 2018.

Oh my it is a busy time right now. I think schools and families are in full “science fair mode.” I see hundreds of children each and every week right now ensuring that everyone is on track for their school science fair and then on to the Regional Science Fair coming up on March 24 at Medicine Hat College. I know that the Science Fair committee has also been working hard behind the scenes pulling all of the details together so the students from all over southeastern Alberta experience a great science fair again this year. Remember if you live in southeastern Alberta and want to do a project and enter the Regional Fair, you are welcome to as it is open to all students in Grades 4-12. It is a great day and such an opportunity to investigate something that you have been wondering about! You must preregister though. This week, I thought I would share an interesting project that I saw at a school science fair last year. Let’s get started!

* Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.

Materials

– two clear glass jars

– water

– measuring cups

– two thermometers

– two rubber bands

– one sheet of white construction paper

– one sheet of black construction paper

– plastic wrap

– scissors

– timer

– clear tape

– timer

– pencil

– science notebook

Procedure

1. Wrap one jar with black construction paper. Cut it to fit if necessary. Secure it in place with some tape.

2. Cover the second jar with the white construction paper, cutting and securing in place as necessary.

3. Fill each of the clear glass jars with 125 mL (1/2 cup) of water. Make sure you use the measuring cups and measure precisely.

4. Cover each jar with the plastic wrap and secure the plastic wrap in place with a rubber band.

5. Place the glass jars in a sunny window.

6. Set the time for one hour.

7. Remover the plastic wrap from each jars and record your results in your science notebook.

8. Place the plastic wrap back on the jars and set back in the window. Set your time for one more hour.

9. Repeat for several hours.

10. Record your results in a chart.

11. What did you find out?

What is going on?

In this experiment the student was investigating how much heat is absorbed as a result of being wrapped in the white paper or the black paper. It has been a long time, but I hope that the student was able to learn that the black construction paper absorbed more heat than the white paper. Not only did the student learn something by doing this experiment, they were also able to make a real life application. Perhaps wearing dark colours in the summer time is a bad idea? If it is already hot outside, we likely do not want to be hotter by absorbing extra heat through our clothes too!

Keep working hard and I am looking forward to seeing you at the science fair soon!

Patty Rooks is senior scientific consultant at PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook.

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