Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cooling Water - A New Media Project

I just finished a PowerPoint of a new media project.  You can get the file here on Google Documents.  I show a tea pot of cooling water over an hour, with photos taken every six minutes.  The photo at 24 minutes is blurry, which is an accident.  However, you can challenge your students to find the missing value.

This is the third attempt at this project.  In the past, I shot photos of water going from room temperature to boiling.  The problem is that the steam interfered with the temperature readings.  This time, I started with boiling water and let it cool.  I got better results in the long run.

The large thermometer in the picture is an indoor/outdoor thermometer I have at the house.  I placed the outdoor sensor about a meter from the tea pot to get a good read on the room temperature.  That is why I used the outdoor temperatures when computing the difference in temperature.

I would use this in my Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, or Precalculus class.  I took some photos of the temperature every thirty seconds for the first five minutes.  I would use the second set for Differential Equations or Calc I to attempt to derive the differential equation for cooling.

If you download the file (successfully, this is my first attempt with Google Documents), feel free to use it in class and make your own modifications.  Just be sure to give me credit for the photos.


I buried the link to the document in the text.  Here it is again.