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Thermal Conductors Investigation

Students apply their knowledge of thermal conductors to investigating how heat moves.

'Thermal Conductors Investigation' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Properties and Changes of Materials

Curriculum subtopic:  Comparing and Grouping Properties of Materials

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

We use heat energy to heat our homes and cook our food. We choose materials which allow heat to travel quickly and easily for these jobs.

 

 

 

Heat from the electric or gas ring travels through the pan to the egg. Heat from the oil or water travels through the radiator into the air in the room.

When we want heat to travel quickly and easily from one place to another, we make objects using which materials?

wood

glass

plastic

metals

Which other THREE properties of many metals make them good materials for frying pans?

strong

high melting point

electrical conductor

waterproof

Byron and Rumer start with a question:

Which materials are good heat conductors?

 

They decide to use a mixture of water and crushed ice.

 

What is the temperature of the ice and water at the start of the test? 

room temperature

100 degrees

0 degrees

They collect the other equipment they will need:

  • paper cup
  • metal cup
  • paper cup
  • polystyrene cup 

 

To keep their test fair, what must be the same about the cups?

shape and size

colour and pattern

all have handles

Which TWO other factors must they keep the same?

the air temperature (ambient)

who crushes the ice

the volume of the icy water

the freezer the ice comes from

Byron decides to record his observations at the start of the investigation. Which TWO effects does he observe?

the polystyrene cup feels the coldest

the metal cup feels the coldest

the plastic cup feels the coldest

all the cups feel the same temperature

water droplets form on the outside of the metal cup

Where have the water droplets come from? 

tiny holes in the metal

the air

the ice

The science word to describe this is...... 

compensation

evaporation

condensation

Byron and Rumer will measure the time it takes for the icy water to heat up to 10 degrees.

 

The students make a prediction:

 

Rumer says: "I think the icy water in the polystyrene cup will heat up quickest because it is a thin material."

Byron says: "I think the icy water in the metal cup will heat up quickest because metal is a good heat conductor."

 

Whose prediction do you agree with?

Rumer

Byron

Here is the table of results:

 

MATERIAL TIME TAKEN (mins)
 Metal  30
 Plastic  45
 Paper  50
 Polystyrene  65

 

Which material is the POOREST thermal conductor?

metal

plastic

paper

poystyrene

Rumer says: "If metals are good thermal conductors, why does the radiator FEEL cold when the central heating is turned off?"

 

What is the answer?

because it's colder than the room

we are not good at feeling temperature

the metal conducts heat away from our fingers

  • Question 1

When we want heat to travel quickly and easily from one place to another, we make objects using which materials?

CORRECT ANSWER
metals
EDDIE SAYS
Metals are good heat conductors.
  • Question 2

Which other THREE properties of many metals make them good materials for frying pans?

CORRECT ANSWER
strong
high melting point
waterproof
EDDIE SAYS
Strong and waterproof, many metals have high melting points, so they don't melt into a liquid mess on the stove!
  • Question 3

Byron and Rumer start with a question:

Which materials are good heat conductors?

 

They decide to use a mixture of water and crushed ice.

 

What is the temperature of the ice and water at the start of the test? 

CORRECT ANSWER
0 degrees
EDDIE SAYS
A mixture of ice and water measures 0 degrees centigrade.
  • Question 4

They collect the other equipment they will need:

  • paper cup
  • metal cup
  • paper cup
  • polystyrene cup 

 

To keep their test fair, what must be the same about the cups?

CORRECT ANSWER
shape and size
  • Question 5

Which TWO other factors must they keep the same?

CORRECT ANSWER
the air temperature (ambient)
the volume of the icy water
EDDIE SAYS
Water freezes at 0 degrees, but the temperature around it will affect the time it takes to melt. So the students must keep their cups in the same place to make the test fair.
  • Question 6

Byron decides to record his observations at the start of the investigation. Which TWO effects does he observe?

CORRECT ANSWER
the metal cup feels the coldest
water droplets form on the outside of the metal cup
  • Question 7

Where have the water droplets come from? 

CORRECT ANSWER
the air
EDDIE SAYS
The water on the outside of the metal cup has come from the air around it, because the air is warmer than the surface of the metal.
  • Question 8

The science word to describe this is...... 

CORRECT ANSWER
condensation
EDDIE SAYS
When a gas changes to a liquid, it is called CONDENSATION - just like a steamy mirror in the bathroom when we have a shower.
  • Question 9

Byron and Rumer will measure the time it takes for the icy water to heat up to 10 degrees.

 

The students make a prediction:

 

Rumer says: "I think the icy water in the polystyrene cup will heat up quickest because it is a thin material."

Byron says: "I think the icy water in the metal cup will heat up quickest because metal is a good heat conductor."

 

Whose prediction do you agree with?

CORRECT ANSWER
Byron
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that thermal conductors allow heat to travel easily from a warm place, the air, to a cool place, the icy water. Byron has based his prediction on this understanding.
  • Question 10

Here is the table of results:

 

MATERIAL TIME TAKEN (mins)
 Metal  30
 Plastic  45
 Paper  50
 Polystyrene  65

 

Which material is the POOREST thermal conductor?

CORRECT ANSWER
poystyrene
  • Question 11

Rumer says: "If metals are good thermal conductors, why does the radiator FEEL cold when the central heating is turned off?"

 

What is the answer?

CORRECT ANSWER
the metal conducts heat away from our fingers
EDDIE SAYS
Metals FEEL cold at room temperature because they are good thermal conductors. The metal conducts the heat away from our fingers, making them FEEL cold!
---- OR ----

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