Science Experiment: Insulators – Keeping Warm

Science Experiment: Insulators – Keeping Warm


An insulator is a substance that prevents the transfer of heat or cold. Your winter hat is an insulator. It keeps the cold in the winter air from making your head cold. It blocks the transfer of cold from the air to you. It also blocks the transfer of heat from your head to the air.

Here is an experiment that will show you how different materials make better insulators than others.

What You Need:

  • 3 Identical Coffee Mugs
  • Pitcher
  • Water
  • Thermometer
  • 4 Rubber Bands
  • Paper Towel
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cotten Fabric (t-shirt – check the label)
  • Wool Sock

Wrap the paper towel around the outside of one mug and secure it with a rubber band. Do the same with the other three mugs using alumninum foil, cotton and the wool sock.

Fill a pitcher with very hot tap water. Be careful! Take the temperature of the water and write the temperature down.

Fill each cup to the top with the hot tap water. Wait five minutes and take the temperature of the water in each cup. Make a chart to keep track of each cup’s temperature. Record each temperature after 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes. What happens to the temperature of the water in each cup?

Websites, Activities & Printables:

Science in Context: Insulators is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. The Science in Context database will show you articles, images and videos to help you learn about insulators.​



You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.



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