Innovation day. A day full of science, innovation, research, and fun! Every year our school has a day that every grade participates in. Students from kindergarten to grade 4 do projects about what they are learning about in science class and students from grades 5 to 8 choose anything they want to do. Now, on to my project. I did my project with a partner – Mara. You can go check out her blog too! Mara’s Blog. The questions for our project were:
- Can we make a reusable hand warmer that is more environmentally friendly than the leading brand of hand warmers?
- Which material holds heat the longest, rice or crushed walnut shells?
- Which smell is preferred?
What happened through the process
First, we sewed 2 pouches and put 6 tablespoons of rice in one and 6 tablespoons of walnut shells in the other. We then put them in the microwave for one minute and right when we took them out, we could already tell that the rice pouch was much warmer than the walnut shells pouch. After we took them out of the microwave we put them on to some heat-sensing silly putty to see if the putty changed colours. It definitely did! We checked the putty every minute to see if it was cooling down and after about 15 minutes the walnut shells pouch started getting cooler. We stopped the experiment at about 30 minutes because that is when the rice pouch didn’t feel very hot anymore and the putty started changing back to the colder colour.
Survey and something to work on
We also did a survey of 15 people to see which smell is preferred, 9 ended up liking the rice smell better and 6 liked the walnut shells smell. Something Mara and I would work on next time is the sewing because the fillings were spilling out a lot. Another thing we would’ve done differently is we would’ve put the pouches in the microwave for 45 seconds instead of a minute.
Feedback from classmates, teachers, and parents
Another thing we did for this project is we made a QR code to a google form. On the google form there were questions about what they liked about our project and what they would ‘ve liked us to do better. We got 13 responses! Most of the feedback was about if we would continue on this project “what other materials would you use?” and “how could you tell the exact temperature of the pouch?” To answer the first question, I would maybe try whole corn or wheat because from our research we could see that those are the other 2 best options for the best heat retention, but not for best smell. And to answer the other question, while we were brainstorming about our project we were trying to think of a way to be able to test the actual temperature but we didn’t want to leave a hole in the pouches because we didn’t want it to explode in the microwave. So to be honest I’m not sure how we would have tested the temperature. I bet if we thought more about it we could figure something out though! Overall, I think Innovation day this year was super fun and a great learning experience! I hope you enjoyed reading through my blog post and I hope you got a short glimpse of what Innovation day is like at our school. Do you have something like this at your school too?