Friday, November 21, 2014

Button Up! Science by VEEP

Written by Alanah, Shelby, and Mrs. Smith

Laura MacLachlan, an educator with VEEP (Vermont Energy Education Program) came to visit our 3rd grades to teach us about energy.  She came to visit us for 2 days and worked with us to do 2 experiments that allowed us to explore heat and insulation.  

On Monday, we did an experiment with mittens.  First, we tried the mittens on and talked about what they were made out of.  Next, we made predictions on which mitten would get the warmest.  Most of us predicted that the mitten made with leather and fleece would be the warmest .  Next, we put thermometers in the mittens and left them for a while.  Finally, we looked at our results.  

Our results showed that some mittens got a little warmer and some got a little colder, but they changed by no more than 1 degree.  We learned that the mittens did not make heat.  It turns out that our bodies make heat.  So why do we wear mittens if they don’t make heat?  We wear mittens because they keep the heat our body makes in so we stay warm.

On Wednesday, we continued our experiments with insulating heat by using houses.  Ms. McLachlan brought 4 different houses with her.  The blue house had no insulation. It did have a round chimney and sealed windows and doors.  The red house did not have insulation.  It had a square hole for a round chimney.  The windows and doors had gaps.  The yellow house had insulation.  It had a round chimney hole.  It had 2 sealed windows and a sealed door.  The green house had insulation.  It had a square chimney hole for a round chimney.  The windows had gaps and the door had gaps.  

First, we explored the houses.  Next, we made a chart with things that we noticed.  Then, we predicted which house would get the warmest.  After, we poured hot water in the chimneys and put thermometers in a hole in the house.  We left the houses for a while.  Finally, we looked at our results.  Our results showed that the yellow house was the warmest and the red house was the coldest.  We learned that the more insulated the house is, the more heat stays in.

So what is next for 3rd grade?  We have learned that humans can survive different environments by insulating their houses and bodies.  We are going to take what we know about this and learn about how some animals can survive in certain environments and why.

Check out some of our pictures!