A few weeks ago I shared about an Alexander Day I had where everything seemed to go wrong…especially a particular science activity. Even though this activity was generally a flop, it was not because it’s not a good activity! It was a flop because I didn’t think through one important detail: styrofoam cups + pointed temperature sensors = big mess! I found this fun activity online here, and I adapted it for my measurement packet:
- temperature sensors–meat thermometers work great. I bought a set on amazon, unfortunately they are no longer available. I bet you could just ask your friends and family to borrow theirs :)
- Plastic Cups–Again, do NOT use Styrofoam cups for this activity! You will have a very soggy mess. (I just thought of it, but it would be cool to get red and blue Solo cups to put the hot and cold water in!)
- Warm and Cold Water
Here’s what we did:
1. Give the kids a cup of hot water and cold water. (remember plastic cups!!)
2. Their task is to mix the hot and cold water until it feels the same as room temperature.
3. After they think they have gotten their water to room temperature, they will use temperature sensors to measure the temperature of the water and air and note the difference. Teacher Tip: In general if the room is cool, their water will be cooler than the air, if the room is warm the water will be warmer than the air.
4. Now they will do the same activity using the temperature sensor to get the water temp to match the air temp.
5. After they have gotten the water to within 1 degree of room temperature, they will feel the water and note whether it feels warmer, colder or the same as the room temperature.
6. When everyone has finished, discuss why it is important that scientists use measurement tools and not just their senses to take measurements.
*Click here to find the rest of the measurement activities!