|Recently, Year 3s undertook an experiment to discover if metal was a better conductor of heat than wood. Two similar-sized spoons were placed in a pot of hot water (due caution taken!!!), one being made of wood, the other, metal. Using their sense of feeling, the students had to observe which spoon heated up quickest at two-minute intervals.
Which would you predict as the best conductor of heat: wood or metal?
Almost every test sample came back as…
…METAL as the best conductor, as it heated up much faster than the wooden spoon.
Wood is a better insulator against heat transference as it has more air in it than metal. Metal is a better conductor of heat as its density is greater and other properties allow heat to conduct through it quickly!
Conductors and insulators both serve a purpose as at different times we want heat to pass through quickly (heating up food in a metal pot) and at other times we don’t want heat conducting (using a wooden spoon to mix hot food when cooking so our hand doesn’t burn).