The three bears heat investigation–it’s just right bp gas prices nj


Tell the story of the three bears. Ask the students, from what they already learned about heat, could there be any way that Baby Bear‘s bowl was just right. Have the students conduct an experiment to find out how Baby Bear‘s bowl could have been just right. (The teacher could dress up like Goldilocks if he/she wishes). Tell the students that there is another component

you are adding to the dilemma (I add this to the embellished story), that of hot chocolate. What cup would make the hot chocolate "just right?" Tell the students they may eat the porridge (oatmeal) and drink the hot chocolate after all the experiments are completed.

Divide the students into groups of four. At each table place a metal cup, Styrofoam cup, and ceramic cup. Teacher has prepared hot chocolate ahead of time and has hot water also prepared for making oatmeal. Teacher can pour the hot chocolate into each cup or have students collect it themselves-be careful because the metal cup can burn hands! if not handled properly. Student should place a thermometer into each cup and record the temperature. Thermometers should then remain in the cups while porridge temperatures are being taken. (They can also put their hands around the cups to get a feel of the temperature—but NOT the metal cup) The table underneath each cup will be felt after a few minutes as well.

Meanwhile the teacher has prepared the oatmeal in the front of the classroom. Some of the oatmeal will be put in a medium sized metal bowl-Mama Bears bowl. A large ceramic bowl (a large plastic bowl works as well) filled with A LOT of oatmeal,–Papa Bear has a big appetite–and a small Styrofoam bowl-Baby Bear‘s bowl. You can also use three bowls of different sizes, but made of the same material to show that Baby Bear’s bowl would get coldest, fastest. The former lets students see the difference. The latter lets them see what happens in the story. I usually give a small Styrofoam bowl to each group so they can have their own porridge at their table. Thermometers should be stuck into each bowl-in the center.

After 5 minutes all temperatures in every container and cup should be recorded. This could be done three consecutive times. Depending on time each student or group of students could design a graph. This could also be done as a class with the teacher on the next day or assigned as homework.

Students should discover that the metal bowl and metal cup will lose heat the fastest because metal is a great conductor of heat. It also radiates heat better. Consequently, the only way Mama Bear’s bowl could have been too cold is it would have had to have been in a metal bowl. Baby Bears bowl would be just right if it were in a Styrofoam bowl, or some other insulated type of material. Papa Bear’s bowl would remain too hot because there was so much of it that the porridge insulates itself and loses heat much slower.

Are there other materials the bear family could have used to keep all their food at the same temperature? What would have happened in real life if they all would have used the same size bowls and the same type of material. What about varying the amount of food in each bowl? Why did McDonalds get sued for using coffee that was too hot and putting it in a Styrofoam cup-their coffee is no longer allowed to be hotter than a certain temperature. Why do many who camp use metal cups even thought their drinks get cooler much quicker? What would have happened if Mama Bear didn’t dish up the porridge before they left? Why does a metal spoon get so hot if you leave it in a bowl of hot soup and a plastic or wood one does not? Would a metal spoon left in soup cool down the soup quicker? Why or How? Why do we use oven mitts? Tell me about metal buildings and wood buildings-sometimes metal buildings are cooler than wood buildings…… What does insulation have to do with it? What about outside temperature?