Why is insulation inside a house?

It never fails. My students struggle to understand what insulation is and how it works. I had seen this experiment demonstrated at the Georgia science conference in 2014. I finally had the time to make the materials needed for the experiment. 

Materials needed:

 

  • 3 empty, clean milk jugs
  • 3 bags of cotton balls
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Box cutter

How to make it:

Cut a flap in the side of all three milk jugs.    

 One jug will be left completely alone. No cotton balls anywhere. 

One jug will have cotton balls glue all over the insides of the jug. 

 
One jug is covered with cotton balls on the outside.   The experiment:

You will use three thermometers to determine which “house” contains heat the best. 

  1. Using hot water, warm the thermometers up to the same temperature. 
  2. Quickly dry all the thermometers off and place one inside of each “house”. 
  3. Check the temperature every 10 minutes for thirty minutes. 
  4. Discuss what happened. 

I can’t wait to try this with my kids this year!

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