The students of the 6th grade class at Oak Hill Middle School in Newton were studying the properties of insulation. They built small cardboard homes and insulated them using foam, spun wool, felt, tin foil, bubble wrap. They used plastic for windows, some even attempted “double glazing”. They placed a cup of hot water on the inside as a heat source and then used a thermometer inserted through the “roof” to measure the temperature loss over time. Their teacher, Jon Roy, asked me to come in and “critique” their efforts. I brought in my Flir infrared camera and iPad and the students were able to see the heat loss . We were able to evaluate their techniques and hopefully improve their designs. Interestedly enough many of the design flaws the student made are shared on “real” homes.
I’m looking forward to working with next years crop of budding building scientist.