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Pot-in-Pot Refrigeration


Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Pot-in-Pot Refrigeration

In this activity (on page 2 of PDF), learners create a low-tech refrigerator that requires no electricity to keep food from spoiling. It uses only clay pots, one smaller than the other and separated by wet sand. As the water evaporates from the sand, it lowers the temperature inside the inner pot, similar to how evaporation from a sweaty person lowers the person's body temperature. This "refrigerator" with no moving parts is great for exploring evaporative cooling, as well as scientific innovation, especially since it has been used successfully in Africa.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • 3 clay pots, one slightly larger than the other
  • sand
  • 2 pieces of Cloth (to cover the pots)
  • water (room temperature)
  • 2 small containers with lids that can fit in the small pot (baby food jars work well for small pots)
  • small piece of cardboard

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Agriculture and Biotechnology
      • Energy and Power
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
      • Thermodynamics and Entropy
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology

Informal Categories


  • Outdoor Activity

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2004

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0206403

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This resource is part of these lists:

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  • Thumbnail for school by katrinchem on 2012-08-22