Temperature sensing walk

Although Friday in physical science is often reserved for assessments of learning, I am always open to try something else. The division had recently acquired a remote surface temperature sensing device. Friday being a sunny day and the class meeting at noon, I thought there might be a chance to reinforce the sensation of different Celsius temperatures. The weather station here still reports in Fahrenheit, thus there is no sense of what a particular Celsius temperature means, what is hot, what is cold.

Pelida measures the top of a transformer in the midday sun: 64℃

On Wednesday I had demonstrated a 0° Celsius ice water bath, 100°C boiling water, 21°C melting coconut oil, 37°C human body temperature (an oral temperature of 34°C to 35°C actually), and indoor room temperature of 28°C.

Tristan measures the cooling fin temperatures as Tiffany, Pelida, Jeremiah, and Dannia look on.

Outdoors in the shade leaves and grass on the ground in the shade were registering 33°C on Friday. The highest temperatures seen were for asphalt which repeatedly came in with peak temperatures of 55°C and 56°C. Little wonder running on the road is challenging here: air temperatures above the road can be significantly elevated above ambient temperatures.

Vanessa measures water surface temperature. 

Water and wet surfaces consistently came in a few degrees Celsius lower than the 32°C to 33°C we were seeing for non-sunny surfaces. Cars were checked, with black cars coming in around 45°C and white cars roughly ten degrees Celsius cooler. Black t-shirts were hotter than white t-shirts. The tops of heads were also checked, with one student showing significantly hotter hair than others in the class. Someone hypothesized that coconut oil might be responsible.

I was pleasantly surprised at the interest the students showed in measuring everything around them. For homework I had them report the temperatures of the objects we measured during the class period in a follow-on homework assignment.

Some temperatures:
Ice water: 0℃
Melting coconut oil: 21℃
Room temperature: 28℃
Outdoor air temperature: 31℃
Boiling water: 100℃
Cement in the sun: 56℃
Metal sewer cover: 52℃
Grass in the sun: 37℃
Leaves in the sun: 36℃
Asphalt in the sun: 50℃
Black car in the sun: 54℃
White car in the sun: 52℃
Black cotton shirt: 40℃
White cotton shirt: 38℃
Tiffany's arm: 32℃
Johner's arm: 33℃
Dannia's hair on top of her head: 39℃
Inside a freezer: -12℃
Black cyanobacteria on top of a metal transformer in the sun: 64℃
Pool of water in the ditch in the sun: 46℃
Covered walkway roof in the sun: 49℃
Parking lot asphalt: 53℃
Dana: 33℃


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