Hover over each circle to see when on the graph each butter pat slid down the rod.
Thanks to thinglink.com!
| || |
Today, our class learned about conductors (insulators are coming on Wednesday) as they relate to heat transfer. We predicted that the type of material an object is made of determines its rate of heat transfer, so naturally we needed to test out various materials!
We used five rods made of different materials: brass, copper, aluminum, plastic, and wood. On each rod, we placed a frozen pat of butter at one end (see the picture for a better idea). We placed each rod into a glass jar filled with hot water, sitting on a hot plate which allowed the water to continually heat up.
I placed a temperature probe into the water to track the temperature during the experiment. The results of that are in the data chart on the left (and the graph above). The top of the glass jar was sealed with plastic wrap to contain the heat, and all rods and probes were poked through the plastic wrap.
This was a good experiment for understanding what a conductor is. The main reason it was so valuable was because of the discussion we were able to have during and after the experiment since we used "conductor" so often. We discussed what properties might have made a material a "good conductor" and what would make it a "bad conductor." We avoided the term "insulator" because that comes later. Although we don't know the exact scientific reason why a good conductor is a good conductor, we did analyze the materials, make logical conclusions, and use prior knowledge in our conversation. Lots of great thinking and learning going on in this lesson! :)