Heat is an essential part of our comfortable survival. From the radiant floor heat that makes the Acorn Room so comfortable to the atmosphere that keeps our planet’s temperature bearable, we are dependent on heat locally and globally. Heat is so integrated into our lives that it is easy to go through a day without asking, Why? Yet with that simple question, one can reach into the heart of many innovations that are helping our world use heat more efficiently to save energy. Perhaps, in this classroom, the seed of a new idea about heat energy has started to grow into an innovation we will use in the near future.
As a culminating project, Grade 3 built inventions that use heat in some way. Equipped with aluminum for reflection, styrofoam for insulation, black paper for heat absorption, and plastic for trapping heated air like a greenhouse- Grade 3 planned, built, and tested their ideas in science class. Not everything worked the way students hoped, as is the way of science, but everyone had a conclusion to learn from. My conclusion: Science is a pursuit that requires creative thinking. During inquiry projects like this one I always find myself wondering: why didn’t I think of that?