Thermal Conductivity

These two short videos, produced by the National STEM Learning Centre, illustrate the process of thermal conductivity. The first video shows a demonstration of thermal conductivity using ice, plastic and aluminium blocks. Alom Shaha explains the process involved. The second video simply shows the effect of the different blocks on the ice.

This demonstration can form the introduction to a structured development of ideas about energy transfers between objects at different temperatures. Ice cubes are placed on metal and plastic blocks; the cube placed on metal melts much more quickly than the cube placed on plastic. This is counterintuitive (for many students) because metals feel cold while plastics feel warm.

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