Great Meltdown

Good evening scientists! Today we did a fun melting investigation. This one was a lot of fun to do outside in the sun.

MaterialsGreat Meltdown (2)

Ice Cubes (Interesting shapes make it more fun)

2 Plastic Containers (Big enough to fit one of your ice cubes)

Hair Drier

Sunny Day OR Heat Lamp

Timer OR Clock

Investigation

**This investigation is best done outside to save yourself from extra clean-up, you will most likely get a little wet. We changed into our swimsuits.**

**Never operate a hair drier in a wet environment, follow all safety guidelines on your model**

  1. Place an ice cube in a small plastic container and set it in a nice sunny spot outside to melt (you could substitute the sun with a heat lamp if it is rainy out). Observe and time how long it takes the ice cube to melt (It was in the 80’s and it took almost 20 minutes for us).

    Place an ice cube in your bare hand(s), moving it often until melted. Dry your hands completely before doing the next step.

    Place an ice cube in a small plastic container and time how long it takes a hair dryer to melt the ice cube from about waist height up. Do not get too close to the ice cube, it is dangerous to operate a hair drier in a wet environment, use extreme care.

    Talking Points

This investigation was a great way to explore the three forms of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. Heat transfer is when heat or thermal energy is moved from one thing to another with a different temperature. Thermal energy always moves from hot to cold until the two temperatures are equal. Conduction is when the heat is transferred by touching. When we melted the cube with our hand we were melting it by conduction. Convection is when heat is transferred by circling motion of hot air or liquids rising (less dense) and cooler air or liquids (more dense) being pulled back down by gravity. Gravity is the force that pull all objects to the biggest object, in our case we are always pulled to planet Earth. When we used the blow dryer to we were using convection. Radiation is when heat is transferred in waves (or particles) through another material (or medium). In our experiment the Sun was the heat source that transferred by radiation.

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