By DONNA BURROUGHS, EdS
Superintendent, Triton Community School Corporation
It may be cold outside, but it certainly is not cold in third grade at Triton Elementary School. Students have been learning about energy by working with light and heat.
Students tested out how different materials react with light and heat by testing bottles of cold water wrapped in different materials. In these tests students wanted to see what types of materials could insulate cold things the best, shinny foil, air filled bubble wrap, newspaper, or fluffy soft cotton. Our tests showed that newspaper kept things cold the longest, but the others did help.
Students then designed shipping boxes by combining materials that they thought would keep ice cream cold by drawings that they sketched in their science notebooks before developing their prototypes. Students needed to keep track of the cost of their materials since the shipping boxes would be successful if they kept their ice cream cold and were cost effective to produce. After the boxes were complete a cup of frozen ice was used for ice cream.
The ice cream was weighed before being placed inside of these shipping boxes and then left for approximately 24 hours before students opened them and weighed the contents again. There were some fantastic results, but most of the creations ended up as empty ice cream cups and cold wet boxes but a few of the kids had some cold ice cream still left inside.