Year 6 have been learning about different properties of materials in science. Taking advantage of the senior science lab, we recently carried to carry out an investigation into which materials are the best insulators. The brief was to help choose the best material for the inner lining of a flask to make sure that it keeps hot drinks hot.
We tested four different materials: felt, bubble wrap, paper and foil. We used each of the materials to cover the outside of a boiling tube and poured the same amount of boiling water into each tube. After measuring the starting temperature of the water in each tube, we measured the temperature of the water after 10, 20, 30 and 40 minutes. We then calculated the change in temperature of the water in each tube.
As sometimes happens in science experiments, the results surprised us, as the water in the control boiling tube (with no lining) lost the least heat, but after that, it was the bubble wrap that lost the least heat. So, although we all agreed that we would need to repeat the investigation several times to obtain a reliable result, we concluded that from the results we had so far, bubble wrap would be the best material to use for the inner lining of a flask.
Karen Richardson, Junior School Teacher