Blubber Me: An Insulation Experiment

In Science, our Year 5 students have been learning about how sea mammals survive in cold water. 

The girls had the opportunity to conduct an experiment in the Superlab, in the Consilii Science Centre to further explore the insulation that sea mammals have.

The experiment involved the students placing their hands into ice water and timing how long they could withstand the cold temperature. The girls had one hand that was wearing a glove made to simulate an animal’s blubber and the other hand had no glove. 

With giggles, the girls found that the hand without the glove could not stay in the cold water for as long as the hand that was wearing the glove. This demonstrated to the students the necessity role an animal’s blubber plays in insulating the animal and keep them warm. 

We spoke to some Year 5s about how they found the experiment, here’s what they had to say:

I really enjoyed the blubber me experiment. It was really fun, and I learned a lot of things. With the blubber glove on, it didn’t even feel cold; people could keep their hand in the water for what felt like forever and without the blubber glove, it was freezing. Ordinary people would only be able to last up to two minutes. In conclusion, this experiment taught me a lot about how blubber helps penguins, whales, and more survive and adapt to the world. Sherie Ji, 5.2

I learned that our human body could not handle the icy terrain that the penguins survive in because our human factor doesn’t contain the blubber that the penguins have. But the penguins have that blubber because their bodies are made to survive in their habitat, just like we survive in our environment. Alison Drury, 5.3 

We discovered that blubber greatly helps when putting your hand in the freezing water! Lily Thompson, 5.4

I’d never heard of blubber before, so I learned it was a fat under the skin that keeps things warm in very cool temperatures. Doing the experiment hurt my hand because the water was freezing in the ice, and when I took it out, it was exposed to warm air, which made it hurt. Lily Edwards, 5.5

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