Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ice Cube Meltation

One of the exciting parts of my science class is getting to do some experiments at home to help us think about how we learn about scientific topics and in turn how kids might learn science.

This past weekend I got to watch paint dry watch ice cubes melt. It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but that was the purpose of the experiment, to see if, when we wrapped the cube in different materials if they would take longer to melt. And longer they did!
I had to wrap one cube in plastic wrap, one in foil, one in paper, and one in a wash clothe. I had one control cube that wasn't wrapped in anything. 
 I got everything all set up, decided to check on them every 15 minutes (bad idea) and was ready to watch. 
Checking every 15 minutes drove me nuts, by the time I wrote down my observations for each cube, took some pictures, and checked everything out I had roughly 8 more minutes until the next check. This went on for close to 4.5 hours...
Boy, did they take forever to melt! The control cube even took longer than I thought it would. Almost two hours, two hours!My biggest shocker was seeing the foil wrapped cube melt faster than I thought. I think my foil wa more like an incubator rather than an insulator. 
The plastic wrap cube became a hot mess (bad pun). The water from the melting cube made the wrap go all wonky - it was a puddle of plastic and water, but it took longer to melt than the foil wrapped cube, so shocking to me!
The newspaper really slowed down the melting. The paper was a soggy mess almost 4 hours later, yes four hours!
And the towel, oh the towel, it kept the cube so well insulated that it took 4 and a half hours to melt! In that time the sun had set, I had read over 200 pages for classes this week, and the Superbowl was kicking off!

What did I learn, besides the deep scientific concepts about insulating melting ice cubes? I learned that just like a watched pot doesn't boil, a watched ice cube doesn't melt!

6 thoughts on the matter:

Pieni Lintu said... {Reply}

Interesting.. :D

Dorian Susan said... {Reply}

These things apparently take time. Good lessons for summer perhaps.
THe other thing you learned...if you buy ice cream at the grocery and need to run a couple errands before going home, wrap it in that spare towel you keep in the car! Now that's helpful. Happy day Tamar.

Danelle said... {Reply}

My kids would love this! Isn't science fun? ;)

Sian said... {Reply}

haha very funny!

Gina Kleinworth said... {Reply}

Well you certainly have more patience than I. :) My kids do experiments like this- I am so bad- I usually find a way to condense it down.

Buckeroomama said... {Reply}

Okay, I was surprised with the foil, too. I would have thought that the ice cube would keep longer wrapped in foil. Haha, just goes to show how good I am at science. 8S

Boy, you are patient! I want you for my kids' teacher. :)