Science Fair Project Ideas That Win Awards – Project #17 – Soda Science

Objective

The aim of this experiment is to find out which method can be used for cooling a soda can beginning from room temperature.

Introduction

This is one of those science fair experiments that will teach you about heat transfer by conduction, convection, radiation and evaporation. You must do some research to find out what these terms mean before you go ahead with your experiment.

Conduction: When heat is transferred from one molecule to the other without the molecules being subjected to mass movement.

Convection: The transfer of heat when mass movement occurs.

Radiation: When heat is given out in the form of waves, visible or invisible.

Evaporation: When liquid molecules turn to vapor, carrying off heat.

There are several science fair experiments based on the above concepts.

If you want to cool a soda can, your best bet would off course be the fridge, but you must know that objects in the refrigerator and the freezer get cooled mostly by convection (and partially by conduction). The air molecules inside your refrigerator are spread over a larger area as compared to liquid molecules. So what about objects placed in close contact with liquid? Liquid is much denser than air and would interact with molecules of objects in contact with them to a greater extent. There is a clue hidden in my last sentence, which will help you later.

Materials

Cans of soda kept at room temperature (12 numbers), digital thermometer, ice cubes, two styrofoam cooling boxes, water, plastic wrap and a timer.

Procedure

  1. Fill a Styrofoam cooler box with ice only.
  2. Fill another Styrofoam cooler box with equal amount of ice, but this time mix water with it.
  3. Use a digital thermometer and measure the beginning temperatures of each of the following arrangements:
  • Your freezer
  • Your refrigerator
  • The Styrofoam cooler filled with ice
  • The Styrofoam cooler filled with ice-water
  • The soda inside each can at room-temperature (seal the cans with plastic wrap immediately)
  • Now three cans each containing soda must be placed in the following arrangements:
    • Your freezer
    • Your refrigerator
    • The Styrofoam cooler filled with ice
    • The Styrofoam cooler filled with ice-water
  • Science fair experiments require that accurate written records should be kept of each finding. So note the beginning time of each arrangement.
  • Check the temperature of the liquid (soda) in each can in each arrangement every 5 minutes and record the time and the temperatures.
  • The experiment is over once the temperatures stops changing.
  • Calculate the average temperatures of the three cans in each arrangement for every time point.
  • Make a joint bar graph of the elapsed time on the x-axis and the average temperature the soda on the y-axis. Graphs made during science fair experiments speak volumes about your results, and about the effort you have put in. Just one look at the graph can reveal much more information than numbers can reveal.
  • Now amaze yourself by finding out which cooling arrangement was the fastest! Knowing that the freezer is not the quickest way to cool a soda can be quite a revelation to most people.

    Source by Aurora L.

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