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Keep it Cool

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on the engineering behind keeping food and other items cool. Students work in teams to develop a system to make an insulated liquid container that will keep chilled water as cool as possible for an hour using everyday items. Students will need to devise a way to have a thermometer rest in the water and be able to read the temperature throughout the hour. They plan their design, execute and test their system and share their experiences with the class.

Age Levels:

8 - 18
Objectives 
  • Learn about insulation, heat transfer, and vacuums.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society's challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • insulation
  • vacuum
  • heat transfer
  • engineering design
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students explore how engineers have developed systems to keep liquids cool and learn about heat transfer, insulation, and vacuums. They work in a team to develop a system to keep a cup of chilled water as cool as possible for one hour using everyday materials, share and test their designs with the class and reflect on the experience.

Resources/Materials 
  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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