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Weather Study:  Heating & Cooling of Land & Water

Weather Study: Heating & Cooling of Land & Water


The Stainless Steel Temperature Probe is a rugged, general-purpose temperature sensor that can be used in organic liquids, salt solutions, acids, and bases.  Use it as you would use a thermometer for experiments in chemistry, physics, biology, Earth science, and environmental science.

In this laboratory experiment, your students will study how fast land and water heat and cool.  These temperature changes have an influence on our weather.  In Part I of this experiment, you will heat sand and water.  You will use two Temperature Probes to see which heats faster.  In Part II, you will allow warm sand and warm water to cool.  This time you will use two Temperature Probes to see which cools faster.  You will then apply your results.


    This U-PIK will include enough materials for eight student groups.  Suggested group size is 2-3 students.  The U-PIK will include the following:


    • 16 temperature sensors 
    • 8 LabQuest 2 interfaces
    • 16 250 mL beakers
    • 1 container of sand
    • 8 hot plates


    You will be required to provide the water needed for the laboratory experiment.  Tap water will be suitable for this process.  


    The temperature sensor will allow you to monitor temperature changes for two substances:  land (sand) and water.  This laboratory can be introduced after students become aware of the heating and cooling process.  


    Other than subtraction, no mathematical concepts are required for this laboratory procedure.  The teacher may instruct students to produce a graphical representation of their data (either by hand or by Excel), but this is not a requirement.  Due to the concepts presented, the laboratory can be implemented at the middle school level.  It is best suited in a general science, earth science, environmental science, or physical science classroom.  


    Time:  One laboratory period.  


    Student Level:  

    BEGINNER (Grades 5-8)

  • Temperature Sensor User Manual

  • Lab Experiment: Preview Document

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