Education Technology

Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool

Activity Overview

Students will use a temperature probe to collect data as the warmed probe cool. Students will also investigate Newton's Law of Cooling and model cooling data with an exponential function. They will fit the data to a mathematical model after analysis.

Before the Activity

  • Connect a temperature probe to Channel 1 on the CBL 2™ or Vernier LabPro®
  • Connect the CBL 2™ or LabPro® to the calculator using the Unit-to-Unit cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 165 - 171 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Warm the probe by placing it in a cup of hot water
  • Allow the probe to cool, and collect the cooling data
  • Observe the graph of temperature versus time displayed by the graphing calculator
  • Model cooling data with an exponential function
  • Perform an exponential regression and determine the parameter values
  • After the Activity

    Students will fill in the Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

  • Review student results
  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary