Create a post from the types below.
Newton’s Law of Cooling: Find the Optimal Coffee/Cocoa Temperature
Newton’s Law of Cooling is a difficult concept for my students to understand. Exponential Growth and Decay is one thing, but Newton’s Law steps it up a notch. Therefore, I developed this short lab to use in class to help the students get a hands-on experience with it.
To complete this lab, you need a few materials:
Hot water to represent the coffee (I have a Keurig in my office)
Different types of cups and mugs (we found it interesting to see which insulates best)
Thermometer (one per group is optimal, but sharing can work)
Record temperature of the room. Each group gets a mug of hot water and records temperature. Then, they wait about 5 minutes and record temperature again. They will then, complete the math to see when the water would be the optimal temperature to drink. At the end of the resource, when the instructor is ready, they can put in their data and see if they worked it correctly.
I would like to add a check in real time where they watch and see if the water is the temp that it should be after the time determined. But I haven’t done that yet.
I will generally bring some cocoa packets for students to make themselves a cup of cocoa if desired. (I actually don’t drink coffee so cocoa is what I have.)
(I called it “a very scientific lab” with complete tongue-in-cheek as I know there are many variables that are not controlled.)