Insulation and Heat Loss

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  • Warm water
  • 3 soda cans
  • thermometer
  • paper, cardboard, bubble wrap, etc.

Forming a Hypothesis

  1. How does heat get “lost”- where does it go?
  2. How can we slow the transfer of heat?
  3. Of the items that you have in front of you, which will make the best insulator? How would you measure this?


  1. Wrap your insulating materials around the empty soda cans.
  2. Fill each can with hot water.
  3. Use your thermometer to measure the temperature of each can over time. Record your data in a table.

After the Experiment

  1. Rank your insulators from best to worst.
  2. What examples do you see of insulation in nature (plants, animals)?

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