Grade: Middle
Subject: Science

#1204. Handboiler Lab

Science, level: Middle
Posted Tue Jul 27 13:57:39 PDT 1999 by Walter L. March (
Upper Perkiomen Middle School, East Greenville, USA
Materials Required: pencil, thermometer, handboiler,
Activity Time: about 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: measurement and temperature

Lesson plan for the handboiler experiment.

Title: Handboiler experiment.

 To use a handboiler. This is a sealed glass vial filled with alcohol that will boil when held. It is available from most science supply houses.
 To read a thermometer and take a temperature accurately.
 Be able to record data and do averages.
 To see if there is a difference in temperature between a boiler and a non-boiler.
 Compare Fahrenheit and Centigrade scales.
 To work together with other students.

 Thermometer, hand-boiler, lab sheet, and pencil.

1. Hold the hand-boiler in the palm of your hand and see if it boils. Normally it will boil within ten to twenty seconds. Record on your lab sheet if it boiled.
2. Next, hold a glass thermometer between your fingers and record your temperature. Hold the thermometer for about one minute to ensure an accurate reading. All students should take their temperature the same way.
3. Go around the classroom and find the temperatures of three non-boilers, record their temperatures on your lab sheet and average these out.
4. Next, find the temperatures of three boilers and record these on the lab sheet. Find the average of these.
5. Compare the data collected and see if there is a difference in the temperature of a boiler and non-boiler.

1. When the class is finished with the activity compare the data collected. This can be written on the blackboard. Discuss the results with the class. Usually the boilers have a temperature of one to two degrees higher than the non-boilers.
2. Ask the class why the temperatures varied. What is the normal body temperature supposed to be? Does a doctor take a temperature using the fingertips? Where is the temperature normally taken? What might be some reasons why an external temperature would vary? Does the time of day or consumption of food affect the external temperature?