Cool It!

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In this fun hands-on activity, learners use simple materials to investigate evaporation. How can the evaporation of water on a hot day be used to cool an object? Find out the experimental way! The activity is based on an episode of Cyberchase called "Digit's B-Day Surprise" and was developed to capture kids' interest in math using the appeal of the popular PBS series. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • timer
  • 2 chocolate-covered peppermint candies in foil wrappers
  • sunny place
  • bowl of water (at room temperature)
  • 2 paper towel strips
  • paper fan


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Cyberchase


  • All rights reserved, WNET, 2009

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Ernst & Young, LLP
  • Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • PBS
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Volckhausen Family