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Friday, September 18, 2015

Science Topic - Keeping Warm at Waitahuna School

We have had a busy week of Science Investigations at Waitahuna School.
The Junior Room discussed how animals keep warm with a special focus on Antarctic animals. Their scientific investigation was based on one question… ‘Does a penguin stay warm in a huddle?’ The children had some penguins (mugs filled with hot water) which they had in a huddle and one lonely penguin who had no company. Temperatures were monitored and it was discovered that penguins are very wise when they huddle together to keep warm. We also discussed how many of our ewes are doing the same at the moment during lambing.

The Senior Room has been testing the thermal qualities of materials.
What we did:
We had 13 cups the same size. One cup was our control which had no thermal covering.
We tried to put exactly the same temperature water in the cups, unfortunately we had to re-boil the jug and 4 cups couldn’t be counted as their water was hotter than the rest.
One other cups was not included in the investigation because it was found to have a crack in it!
Some of the materials we used in our experiment were: lambskin, leather, bubble-wrap, gladwrap, newspaper, towelling, a sock, sheep wool, eski fabric and a wheat bag.
What we found:
Of what we tested the worse thermal qualities were from leather followed by the wheat bag and bubble-wrap. The best thermal qualities were from the wool, sock and the eski.
There were 4 ½ degrees difference between the best insulator (wool) and the worst insulator (leather)
Therefore we think:
We think that wool is the best insulator at keeping things warm. (Please remember this when buying your socks and support the sheep-farmers) We discussed the poor qualities of the leather and decided that it was used as a material to protect our feet not to insulate it, (that is why we wear socks in our shoes). We also discovered that scientific investigations can be quite difficult as you have to make a fair test and treat every sample the same but with changing one thing.

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