Warm and Toasty
Peter M. Amati, Jr. Holliston High School Holliston, Ma. 01746 School Phone 508-429-0677 firstname.lastname@example.org
The students will:
Engagement and Exploration (Student Inquiry Activity)
Kids should come up with concerns about insulation, about getting wet from sweat while working, about the weight of the gear, about the ability to move in the gear. Concerns about going to the bathroom must also be addressed. If class does not respond to journal arcticle read and discuss the following paragraph. This should help to set the scenario that you are trying work through:
"You are working on a sea ice research team taking ice cores from the Weddell Sea in -40°C weather. You will work on the ice for a time span from 4 - 8 hours. This is after spending 1/2 hour getting all your ECW gear on, (Don't forget 'to go potty' first before your get dressed. You do remember how it was when your mom got you dressed in your snow suite and then Nature called'. This is a bigger pain now, for you have an entire sea ice team and a multimillion dollar RV/IB waiting for you to pee.) You have to maintain your body heat or die."
Have the PIs take charge of the research teams. There has to be leader. PIs now list on the board concepts that the research teams come up with that will have to be looked at to address the problem being looked at. What is it that is being looked at? How can this information be reported?
These should include the difference between temperature and heat; the idea that insulation has to deal with the loss of heat over time; and the idea that total surface area of the person is important. The use of tabulation of data is critical; but, more importantly there must be graphical representation of the data. If class an PIs do not come up with the following graphs , the suggestion these be used is highly recommended. (Temperature as a function of time; heat lost as a function of time, and heat lost per centimeter square as function of time.
Have PIs , using a consensus of groups, lay out one protocol that is to be followed by all groups in the testing of materials to determine which is the best insulator. Agreement as to what and how data sets are to be reported must be established.
A protocol that has worked is:
What did they find about the insulating capacities of the different fabrics? This will vary with materials used; but, of 16 fabrics tried each showed a significant insulating capability over the control, test. N.B. there is no one "right" answer.
Of the types of materials employed which of the samples provided the best insulating capacity? This will vary with samples used. This will serve as a great lead into another lab in this set, the looking at the mass and/or cost of materials to be used in the manufacturing of a new underwear for a trip to Antarctica.
Elaboration (Polar Applications)
Ask students to read about Peter Amati's research in the Weddell Sea on the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic web site ../../tea_amatifrontpage.html
In parcticular, note the journal entry from June 6, 1992 ../../amati/6.5.1992.html In this entry, Peter describes the extreme cold and dryness of Antarctica.
Another interesting reference can be found on the GLACIER web site at ../../expedition/2_trainingcamp.html
Students should use the information they find to inform their long underwear design team.
Student teams research temperatures and conditions found in the Weddell Sea.
Weddell Sea conditions can be found on the GLACIER web site at ../../weather/weather.html
Direct teams to use the GLACIER web site at ../../weather/weather.html to find the lowest temperature recorded at McMurdo Station , Palmer Station, and South Pole station for the Month of May.
Students should make a chart of the lowest temperatures found at various points around the continent (location sited above). But, notice that none are such that one would want to go "skinny dipping".
Exchange (Students Draw Conclusions)
Evaluation (Assessing Student Performance)