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Thermometer Experiment

posted Nov 6, 2010, 7:43 PM by K Day

This experiment utilizes thermometers and paper to demonstrate how color can change the impact solar energy has on temperature. Although we implemented this a bit differently, we first found this experiment at EIA - Energy Kids, in the Energy Activities with Energy Ant.  

 - Cardboard file folder box lid
 - 3 Thermometers 
 - Fasteners for Thermometers
 - Push Pins
 - White and Black Paper


Step 1 - Measure your box lid and identify appropriate location of your thermometers. 
We chose to space them evenly across the lid. 

Step 2 - Cut paper to cover bottom portion of thermometer. 
Our papers ended up being 5"x4". 

Step 3 - Fold paper in half and put one side of paper under thermometer. The other half of the paper should rest on top of the thermometer bottom. 

Step 4 - Attach Thermometers. 
We used a push pin to make the initial hole in the cardboard. Then we used fasteners to attach the thermometers to the lid. (Our thermometers have a small "Frame" around them with a hole in the top and bottom which made them easy to attach. If your thermometers don't have holes, you could use tape or close the paper tightly around the thermometer so it doesn't move.)

Step 5 - Use push pins to "close" paper around thermometer. 
We used four pins per paper. 

Step 6 - Place thermometers in sunny place for at least 30 minutes.

Step 7 - Observe and record! 

  1. Is the temperature the same on all 3 thermometers?
  2. Which one is hottest, coolest?
  3. Was your hypothesis correct?

You can see our finished product above. It's may not be pretty but it does the job!