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Warm, Warmer: How Does Exercise Change Body Temperature?

based on 43 ratings
Author: Michelle Formoso

Grade Level: 2nd to 4th; Type: Biology

Objective

You know you feel hotter after running around, but are you actually hotter? How much hotter? Use a liquid crystal thermometer to find out whether exercising makes a difference in people’s temperature.

Research Questions

  • Does exercise change your temperature?
  • Does everybody’s temperature change the same amount?

Materials

  • Liquid crystal thermometer
  • Volunteers
  • Watch that shows seconds, or a stopwatch
  • Paper and pencil

Terms to Know

Temperature

Exercise

Experimental Procedure

  1. Write down the names of all of your volunteers on the piece of paper (don’t forget yourself!). Under each name write “resting” and “after exercise.”
  2. Have your first volunteer sit down; have them hold the thermometer against their forehead for about a minute. Look at the temperature it says and write it down next to “resting” under that person’s name.
  3. Have the volunteer run or do jumping jacks for three minutes without resting.
  4. As soon as the three minutes is up, take their temperature again. Write down the number next to “after exercise.”
  5. Give the thermometer a minute or so to cool down.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 until everybody’s temperatures have been written down.
  7. Look at your results. Did you notice that people’s temperatures were higher after exercise than they were before? Subtract each person’s resting temperature from their after-exercise temperature. The difference is how many degrees their temperature rose after exercise. Did everybody’s temperature rise the same amount? Can you think of any reasons why two people might not get the same result?

References

What’s Up? 45 Hands-On Science Experiments That Explore Weather, by B. K. Hixson, pp. 49-50 (Loose in the Lab Science Series, 2003).

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