Keeping Water Warm

Hard
Let's find out which material is the best at keeping water warm. We'll use air, sand, and Styrofoam to insulate three conical flasks filled with boiled water. We'll measure the temperature of the water in each flask every hour for five hours and compare the results.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis is that sand is able to keep water warm for the longest period of time, when compared to air and Styrofoam.

Method & Materials

You will use an electric drill to make a hole in the center of three corks. You will insert thermometers through the holes and close the opening on the top of the conical flask with the corks. You will place the first conical flask in an empty wooden box, the second conical flask in a wooden box filled with styrofoam, and the third conical flask in a wooden box filled with sand.
You will need 3 conical flasks, 3 corks, an electric drill with bits of the right size, 3 thermometers, 3 wooden boxes, a bag of sand, a bag of styrofoam balls or fibre, tap water, an electric kettle, and a clock.

Results

The experiment showed that the water in the conical flask remained warm for the longest period of time in the box filled with the styrofoam, followed by the box filled with sand. This proves that the hypothesis is not true.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how different materials can be used to insulate heat and keep objects warm or cold.

Also Consider

Consider repeating the experiment using ice cubes instead of boiled water. You could also repeat the experiment using other insulation materials like cloth, newspaper or saw dust.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!