Grade Level: 3rd - 6th; Type: Physical Science
To investigate how color affects temperature.
Does color affect temperature?
How/why does color affect temperature?
Different kinds of light have different wavelengths. Different colors of visible light also have different wavelengths and produce different thermal energy.
- 4 swatches of 100% cotton fabric, identical except for color (colors should include yellow, black, green, and red)
- halogen floodlight, 100 watts
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Position the floodlight so that the bulb is 18” above a flat surface.
- Set the thermometer under the floodlight and leave undisturbed for 30 minutes.
- Record the temperature.
- Allow the thermometer to cool to room temperature without the light.
- Fold one of the pieces of fabric over the thermometer and set under the floodlight.
- Leave undisturbed for 30 minutes. Record the temperature.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 with each different color fabric four times to get an average. To find the average, add the 5 temperatures for each color individually, then divide by 5.
- Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.
Terms/Concepts: wave length: the horizontal distance between two waves thermal energy: energy caused by heat; Different colors heat up differently causing different thermal energy.
“Heat Absorption” at http://www.kidsgeo.com/geography-for-kids/0066-heat-absorption.php “Color and Heat Absorption” http://newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen99540.htm “Why do different colors absorb different amounts of heat energy?” at http://www.letusfindout.com