Conduction: which material is most suitable?
Key Stage 1/2
Link to the National Curriculum
Sc3 Materials(Yr 2)
Pupils should be taught to:
- identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood,metal plastic glass,brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.
- To enable children to understand that certain materials are best used for particular purposes because of their particular properties
What you need
- frozen peas
- plastic and metal spoons of the same size
- A supply of hot water*
- timing device…large infant style classroom timer or stop watches
- Tumblers of equal size and made of the same material
* H/S precautions when handling very hot water, tumblers to be placed in large highsided plastic containers in case of accidental spillage.
What you do
- See the video clip on the website: www.practicalprimaryscience.co.uk
- Fill each tumbler with equal amounts of hot water placed in a safe environment (highsided plastic container)
- Place one spoons in each tumbler,one plastic, one metal each with the same amount of butter stuck to each handle tip.
- Start the timer immediately the spoons are placed in the water.
- Observe carefully keeping an eye on the time.
- Record the time when each pea slides off the spoon as a result of the melting of the butter due to the heat
Group /Class organisation
- Depending on the number of adult helpers and apparatus available will determine how many groups of three / four children will take part in this practical activity.
- If limited help is available then other children not involved directly in the practical activity should be engaged in associated work with the topic.
How it works
- As all metals are better conductors of heat than other materials especially plastic it is sensible to have cooking utensils with plastic handles to reduce the danger of burning oneself
- This could take the form of a picture/worksheet highlighting dangers especially in the kitchen with children charged with the responsibility of finding the problem areas and dangers.
Follow up work
- Look at other problem solving situations, this time where the insulation of heat is important e.g. which material is best for a pair of mittens or a tea cosy