Science Project:

Plants Help Keep a House Cool!

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Step 1

  1. Take both boxes and place them an equal distance from the lamp so that both of them get the same amount of light hitting them.
  2. Put the thermometers inside the boxes.
  3. Place plants between the lamp and one of the boxes so that the shadows cast by the plants cover most of the entire "house."
  4. Turn on the lamp.
  5. Measure the air temperature in each over a period of time. Which box has a higher temperature? Does the temperature change? Subtract or add plants?do the number of plants change the temperature of the shaded "house?"

Step 2

  1. Paint one of the boxes white and the other box black
  2. Put both boxes and place them an equal distance from the lamp so that both of them get the same amount of light hitting them.
  3. Put the thermometers inside the boxes.
  4. Turn on the lamp.
  5. Measure the air temperature in each over a period of time. Which box has a higher temperature? Does the temperature change?

Step 3

  1. Place plants between the lamp and one of the boxes so that the shadows cast by the plants cover most of the entire "house."
  2. Turn on the lamp.
  3. Measure the air temperature in each over a period of time. Which box has a higher temperature? Does the temperature change? Subtract or add plants or change the house they are in front of. Which house stays the coolest?

What you'll discover!

Plants can act as a shades to block sunlight and help us keep our homes cooler. In the summer time a tree with leaves will shade the home, decreasing the amount of sunlight striking the house, keeping it cooler. In the winter, when a tree drops it's leaves, the sunlight is allowed to hit the home to assist in keeping it warm.

The color your home (and especially the roof) is painted can have an impact on heating and cooling it. Light colors will reflect the sunlight. Dark colors will absorb more sunlight. So, if you paint a house light colors or have a light-colored roof, the house will stay cooler in the summer.

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