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Get the Porridge Just Right

Source Institutions

    Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

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Get the Porridge Just Right

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.

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


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, ©2012


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