Can you use insulation materials to keep food fresh?
Imagine you pack your lunch one day for school and you put your
sandwich, drink, and fruit inside an insulated lunch bag. But the weather
outside is very hot and you’ve forgotten to include an ice pack in your
bag. By the time you get to lunch, your drink is warm and your food isn’t
fresh. You decide that there’s got to be a better way to make a cooler
that doesn’t require an ice pack… and doesn’t use non-recyclable
materials such as styrofoam.
Using the materials provided, you must create an insulating cooler that
uses efficient materials and can even keep an ice cube from melting for
a long time.
To build your insulator, use the materials provided to construct
a small container.
It should keep an ice cube solid for as long as possible, so you will
want to think about which materials can keep the cold inside.
Make a larger container using these materials, then place the smaller
container inside of it.
Design your insulator so that the status of the ice cube can be
checked periodically (it should open and close).
Place an ice cube inside the insulator and start a timer.
Check the ice cube every two minutes to see if there’s still ice left.
When all the ice is gone, mark the time for that insulator.
Heat transfers through air slower than it does through solid materials.
Try adding layers of light materials or air around your ice cube.
How to Test
Have your students make an insulator. It should keep an
ice cube solid for as long as possible.
Make sure they design their insulator so that the status of
the ice cube can be checked periodically.
Have your students place an ice cube inside their insulator
and start a timer.
Have your students check their ice cube every two
minutes to see if there is still ice left. When all the ice is
gone, mark the time for that insulator.
Make a small container using aluminum foil.
Make a larger container and line it with crumpled tissue
paper and cotton balls. Place the smaller container in the
larger lined one.
Add the ice cube to the small container, and close both
the containers using more aluminum foil.
Heat transfers through air slower than it does through solid
materials. Try adding layers of light materials or air around
your ice cube.