Thermal Energy Heat Project: Design an Insulating Device


Highly engaging take-home project!

Grades 7 and Up

Students BUILD an insulating device and then TEST its effectiveness.

This project is designed for a heat, thermal energy, and insulators/conductors unit, covering NGSS MS PS3-3: Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.

At home, students design and construct a device that holds heat. They can use any materials that they have access to, and therefore don’t have to buy anything. Keeping the focus on readily available materials helps keep ALL students involved, regardless of their ability to buy supplies at a store.

In class on the due date, students test their design by adding a half cup of hot water and measuring the temperature drop over 30 minutes.

This design challenge pairs perfectly with our Insulators & Conductors Lab!

This resource includes:

  • Clear instructions
  • Student sheet to complete during the testing period, including data table, graph, and analysis
  • Student-friendly rubric
  • Helpful teacher tips including some easy-to-find and free material ideas to provide students

Teacher Notes:

  • This resource is not editable.
  • Related NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Developing and using models; Planning and carrying out investigations; Constructing explanations and designing solutions.
  • Check out more resources in the heat section of our shop!


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