Get the Porridge Just Right

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Learners set up three different bowls, each with a different mass of oatmeal. Learners monitor the temperature of the oatmeal and find that larger masses take longer to cool. Use this activity to introduce temperature, mass, and thermal energy. [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 student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Three identical bowls
  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Thermometer
  • Measuring cup
  • Heated water
  • Spoon
  • Masking tape
  • Pen
  • Chart (PDF)


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Energy
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access