Body temperature and thermometers
The materials required for the science fair project experiment:
- 1 participant
- a glass mercury thermometer
- a digital thermocouple thermometer
- an infrared thermometer
- a hot plate
- a beaker
- tap water
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of thermometer used - mercury or glass, a digital thermocouple thermometer and an infrared thermometer. The dependent variable is the temperature measured using the 3 thermal devices. This is determined by using the thermometers to measure the temperature. The constants (control variables) are the room temperature and the time of the measurements.
2. The beaker is filled with water and placed on the hot plate. Its temperature is then raised and maintained at 37 °C. The temperature of the water is taken using the mercury glass thermometer, a digital thermocouple thermometer and an infrared thermometer. The observed temperatures are recorded in the table given below.
3. The infrared thermometer is used to take the participant’s temperature inside the ear and the reading is recorded in the table below.
4. The temperature inside the participant’s mouth and under his armpit, is taken using the mercury glass thermometer, a digital thermocouple thermometer and an infrared thermometer. The readings taken using the infrared thermometer must be taken quickly because once the mouth is opened or the arm raised, the temperature will begin to fall.
Be extremely careful with glass mercury thermometers to avoid breakage/spillage of the mercury, which can be extremely toxic/dangerous. Adult assistance is required.