Heating a House and an Oven

It is quite common for children to confuse the ideas of heat and temperature, or to believe that in addition to something called “heat,” there is also something else called “cold” or “coldness” that makes the temperature lower. 

This Heating a House and an Oven project gives children real experiences with heat transfer that can challenge their "naive conceptions" and gives a practical basis for the scientific study of energy transfer in a more formal setting.

The relaxed yet structured nature of the activities in this Heating a House and an Oven project will provide opportunities for the children to notice patterns and properties of heat transfer and to begin to draw conclusions about this topic from the evidence of their explorations. In addition students will practice many of the common habits and skills that contribute to successful scientific exploration, including:

  • Taking turns and sharing access to the materials with each other.
  • Listening to ideas from others and sharing ideas and feedback with others.
  • Asking for help from each other and from program leaders when they are stuck.
  • Observing carefully and describing what they observe and do accurately and completely.
  • Offering reasonable explanations and speculations for what they observe and do.
  • Supporting their speculations and explanations with observations and/or measurements gathered first hand (during their explorations.)