My Angle on Cooling: Effects of Distance and Inclination

In this hands-on lesson, students measure the effect of distance and inclination on the amount of heat felt by an object and apply this experiment to building an understanding of seasonality. In Part 1, the students set up two thermometers at different distances from a light bulb and record their temperatures to determine how distance from a heat source affects temperature. In Part 2, students construct a device designed to measure the temperature as a function of viewing angle toward the Sun by placing a thermometer inside a black construction paper sleeve, and placing the device at different angles toward the Sun. They then explain how distance and inclination affect heat and identify situations where these concepts apply, such as the seasons on Earth and the NASA Mercury MESSENGER mission.

Go To:

AAAS Science NetLinks
Science NetLinks, AAAS
Activity takes about one to two 45-minute class periods. This activity requires additional materials.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Complete, ready-to-use, clearly presented activity.

Most of the materials are basic, although not always available in a typical classroom. Assembling the materials and set up for all teams might consume some time.

Educators have to download a number of materials like worksheets, etc.

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