Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blubber!

No, not flubber--blubber.

We experienced how an animal's body fat can help it withstand cold temperatures, concentrating on whales, seals, sea lions, and walruses.Each child wore two gloves on one hand, then held it in ice water as long as tolerable. They didn't last long. ;-)It was funny, actually--Rebecca held out more than four minutes, about twice as long as Marianna and Joseph. And she was nonchalant (compared to Joe, above): "Isn't is cold, Becca?" "Not really."

The next stage involved one glove and a layer of "blubber" (we used shortening) covered with a second glove.As you can imagine, installing the second glove was difficult, so when it was the girls' turn, I wrapped their shortening in plastic wrap--so much simpler.Since we used wrap instead of a second glove and were unable to apply identical thicknesses of fat, this was a demonstration rather than a true experiment. Nevertheless, the difference was dramatic.With a blubber layer, the children all kept their hands in for over 20 minutes! Their hands were taken from the water due to boredom and our need to get on with life, rather than discomfort. Basically, Mom said, "Enough already. We get it--time to move on!"Even though we didn't follow the scientific method, I don't think these three will ever forget the insulating property of blubber.

5 comments:

Mom/Mimi said...

That was cool! (Pun intended :))
Love,
Mom/Mimi

Mom/Mimi said...

That was cool! (Pun intended :))
Love,
Mom/Mimi

Frau Nelson said...

So clever, I love it!

~ Judy ~ said...

VERY cool indeed! Hmmmm...making me NOT so happy that I seem to tolerate cold swimming water better than my family...?#?$?@?!??

Ouiz said...

Oh, that is a GREAT idea!!!! I guess that would require me actually buying lard/shortening, though... but hey, it's all in the name of science!