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Slowing the melting rate of ice with reflective containersFeatured science projectScience project video


The materials required for this science fair project:

-    3 conical flasks
-    3 corks
-    A roll of aluminum foil
-    A roll of kitchen towel paper
-    A bag of ice
-    3 white towels
-    A digital weighing scale
-    1 clock


1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the material used to cover the conical flask i.e. kitchen paper towels and aluminum foil, and finally, an uncovered flask. The dependent variable is the time taken for the ice to melt. This is determined by inspecting the ice inside the flask to ascertain if it has melted. The constants (control variables) are the size of the conical flask, the amount/weight of ice cubes placed in each flask and the room temperature.

2.    Using a digital weighing scale, 150grams of ice cubes is used. Equal amounts of ice are placed in each of the 3 conical flasks. The 1st conical flask is uncovered. The 2nd conical flask is wrapped in 3 layers of kitchen towels and the 3rd conical flask is wrapped with a layer of aluminum foil. The bottom of the 2nd and 3rd conical flasks are left uncovered.

3.    3 white towels are folded and placed on the table, in a cool spot, away from windows and any other heat sources. Also ensure that there is no wind/draft blowing against the flasks, as this might affect the results of our experiment. The 3 conical flasks are placed on top of each towel. This is done to prevent the conduction of heat from the table to the conical flasks.

4.    The 3 conical flasks are inspected every 30 minutes to see if all the ice has melted. A visual inspection should be done. Record your findings in the table below.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 5 hours for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements