Which materials make good insulators?
Foam is a good/poor insulator. Cloth is a good/poor insulator. Paper is a good/poor insulator.
Two shoeboxes Scissors Two thermometers Piece of Styrofoam about one inch thick Newspaper Towel Black construction paper Tape
- Tape black construction paper to the outside bottoms of the shoeboxes.
- Place the box tops in a sunny place with the thermometers inside facing up. Record the temperatures.
- Invert one box onto a top so the black bottom is toward the sun. This is your control.
- Tape a piece of Styrofoam to the inside of the bottom of the second box, and then place it upside down over the second top.
- Record the temperatures of both boxes after 15 minutes.
- Remove the Styrofoam and tape thick pieces of newspaper in the bottom of the box. Repeat the procedure and record the temperatures.
- Remove the newspaper and tape a towel into the bottom of the box. Repeat the procedure and record the temperatures.
Analysis and Conclusion
Which material was the best insulator? What other substances might make good insulators?
Reprinted with the permission of the NEED Project. © 2008 National Energy Education Development Project - All Rights Reserved.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.