Do different colors absorb heat better
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Do DIFFERENT COLORS ABSORB HEAT BETTER?. BY: Mylie Hill. Activity. p lace students in groups s tudents make 4 different color boxes for testing (white, yellow, red, black) give each group 4 ice cubes (one per box) l eave ice cubes placed in colored boxes in the sun or under heat lamp

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  • place students in groups

  • students make 4 different color boxes for testing (white, yellow, red, black)

  • give each group 4 ice cubes (one per box)

  • leave ice cubes placed in colored boxes in the sun or under heat lamp

  • predict which color box melts ice first

  • record the order and time required to melt ice

Worksheet to record findings

  • Group Members:____________________________________

  • Do different colors absorb heat better than others?

  • Colors Time to Melt (Min)

  • White___________________________________

  • Red_____________________________________

  • Yellow___________________________________

  • Black____________________________________

  • Which ice cube melted first, second, third, and fourth?

  • Do different colors absorb heat better than others?

During experiment
During Experiment



Content coverd

  • certain colors absorb light better than others

  • the sun produces heat and light

  • Why do ice cubes melt?

  • the purpose of solar panels

  • changes that occur in objects

On a summer afternoon, the black roof at left was measured to be 54ºF (30ºC) warmer than the white roof at right

Vocab definitions

  • heat: A form of energy that causes substances to rise in temperature or to go through associated phase changes (as melting, evaporation, or expansion).

  • solar energy: Energy derived from sunlight.

  • solar cell: A photo-electric cell that converts sunlight directly into electrical energy and can be used as a power source.

  • solar panel: A group of solar cells forming a flat surface (as on a spacecraft).

  • energy: The capacity for doing work; raising weight, for example.

  • absorb: To take in; to transform (radiant energy) into a different form usually with a resulting rise in temperature.

  • reflect: To bounce waves of light, sound, or heat off a surface.

  • radiant energy: Energy (as heat waves, light waves, radio waves, x-rays) transmitted in the form of electromagnetic waves.

Real examples

  • Engineers use understanding of how different colors reflect light/heat

  • design products & find solutions

  • Asphalt roads/tar roofs absorb heat

  • white roofs reflect heat cooling temperatures

  • People use the knowledge when deciding what to wear

  • white shirt on sunny day

  • dark shirt on cooler day

Workers install a white roof in Atlanta, Georgia,

to reduce the amount of energy required to keep the inside building

Lesson can be used in
Lesson can be used in…..

  • Kindergarten-second grade classrooms

  • Earth and Space science

  • During Physical science lesson

    • Investigate properties of matter & changes occurring in objects

    • Investigate melting objects


  • Second grade Georgia Standard-

  • Students will investigate the properties of matter and changes that occur in objects. Investigate melting objects

  • International Technology &Engineering Educators Association-

  • Different materials are used in making things. (Grades 0 - 2)

  • Asking questions and making observations helps a person to figure out how things work. (Grades 0 - 2)

  • Energy comes in many forms. (Grades 0 - 2)

  • Compare, contrast, and classify collected information in order to identify patterns. (Grades 3 – 5)