Education Technology

Body Cooling Rate of Animals

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students make two models to stimulate the cooling rate of different skin surface areas. They use a Temperature Sensor to measure the cooling rate of the models. The students also compare the cooling rates of the models to determine the effect of skin surface area on the results.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the Temperature Sensor in channel 1 of the CBL 2
  • Start the DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 167-173 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

  • Distribute the pages to your class.
  • Complete the Hypothesis section on the Data Collection and Analysis page and predict how the amount of skin surface area affects the cooling rate


  • Follow the Activity procedures:
  • Take a surgical glove and tie its fingers in a knot
  • Fill the tied glove with hot water and place it in a beaker with ice water
  • Place the Temperature Sensor in the glove and take readings every 30 seconds for 10 minutes
  • Take a glove, and this time do not tie the fingers, and repeat the experiment
  • Graph data and examine how the surface area of the gloves affects the rate of temperature change
  • Understand how this phenomenon affects animals in extreme environments
  • After the Activity

  • Students will complete 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