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Staying Warm Winter Experiments

winter hat

Put a lid on it.

Have you ever had a parent or teacher say to you, "Put on a hat. It's cold outside." There's a reason why they say this. A lot of your body heat escapes from your head. Wearing a hat stops some of this heat loss. Try this simple experiment to prove it.

You'll need:

  • two small soup bowls (the same size), one with a lid
  • one pitcher of hot tap water
  • a thermometer (optional)

    Put equal amounts of very hot tap water in both bowls. Put the lid on one bowl. Leave them for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid. Now you can either measure the temperature with the thermometer or feel the water with your hands. Which one is warmer?

    Wearing a hat is like putting a lid on. It holds in heat. So, it's very important when you're going out in winter weather to wear a hat.

    Stay off the cold, cold ground

    Here's another stay warm tip. When you're out hiking in the winter and need a rest, don't sit directly on the cold ground. The cold will pass through your clothes pretty quickly. Don't believe it? Give this experiment a try.

    You'll need:
  • a cookie sheet filled with damp earth, kept frozen
  • two containers (the same size) for water
  • very hot water from your tap
  • a sheet of Styrofoam about 1 cm thick, and large enough to cover 1/2 the cookie sheet
    pans and cookie sheet

    Take the cookie sheet with the frozen earth and put the Styrofoam on half the sheet. Fill both containers with hot water. Place one directly on the earth and the other on the Styrofoam sheet, which is sitting on top of the earth.

    Wait about 15 minutes and then feel the water in each container. Which one is warmer? The one sitting on Styrofoam. Since you're not likely to have a piece of Styrofoam with you in the woods, can you think of other things that you could use to insulate you from the cold ground? How about leaves, evergreen boughs or a log? All will work to keep you a little warmer.

    Now that you've got a few tips for staying warm, grab your hat, head outdoors and have some fun!



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