Insulation and cooling

The speed or rate at which water cools depends on a number of variables which can easily be investigated. The method below can be used to investigate how the amount of insulation affects cooling.

Experiment 1 Amount of insulation


  • Measuring cylinder
  • Thermometer
  • 250ml beaker
  • Stopwatch
  • Kettle
  • Bubble wrap


  1. Boil the kettle.
  2. Wrap the beaker in 1 layer of bubble wrap.
  3. Put 100ml of hot water into the beaker.
  4. Using the thermometer measure the temperature every 30 seconds for 5 minutes.
  5. Repeat this with 2, 3, 4 and 5 layers of bubble wrap..

Risk Assessment

Boiling water can scald. Care must be taken when pouring the water into the measuring cylinder. The measuring cylinder will also become very hot so take care when pouring the hot water into the beaker. Do not sit at the work bench, if hot water is spilled it may go into your lap. Spilled water can also cause a slipping hazard, to prevent this clean up spillages promptly.

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