Mrs. Crites’ Penguin Project


In honor of the winter season, Mrs. Crites’ 2nd and 3rd Hour Physical Science classes conducted an engaging lesson on thermal energy.  The students researched the need for penguin houses for the black-footed penguin of the Southern Tip of Africa.  The penguins are in danger of extinction because of the climbing temperatures of their environment.  All students in her Physical Science classes built penguin houses out of various materials in order to measure how well they kept out heat.

Before they began, each group had to measure the length, width, and height of the ice cube, which in essence was their penguin.  Once the ice cube was measured, it was put inside their house-like structure and placed inside of a heating box.  The heating box was set at a certain temperature and each structure had the responsibility to block out the immense heat.

The penguin houses would remain in the heating box for ten minutes and the ice cubes were measured again.  Most of the ice cubes had a puddle of water around them from the heat lamps in the box.  The students would have to find the percent of the ice cube that survived.  The percentage of the cubes that survived would help determine their final grade on the project.

See below for some pictures of the students in action.