Education Technology

JASON: How Do Pinnipeds Stay Warm?

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

From Shore to Sea: Pinnipeds have adapted to extreme weather conditions by developing layers of insulation materials. In this activity, students will perform an experiment to explore how different types of insulation materials work.

Before the Activity

See the attached teacher document (pdf file) for notes and guidelines for this activity.

Print and copy the attached activity document and research article (pdf files) for your class. The research article is in the during the activity section below.

During the Activity

Students will:

  • Perform an experiment to explore how different types of insulation materials work
  • Observe the effects of different insulation materials by placing their hands in mitts with different insulation materials and then putting them into ice water
  • Measure and graph the temperature changes in each mitt using a Temperature Sensor connected to a TI CBL 2™ or Vernier LabPro and a TI-73 Explorer™
  • Compare the measured changes with the differences in temperature they were able to feel with their hands inside the mitt


  • Directions
  • Distribute the actviity document and research article to your class.
  • Read and discuss the research article.
  • Follow the activity procedures outlined in the student document.
  • After the Activity

  • Students complete the data analysis section of the activity.
  • Discuss the results of the data analysis with your students.