Freeze! We're doing science!

I have accumulated a large number of the freezer gel packs from a meal service. I’d like to find a way to use them in a classroom activity.
—P., Georgia

The best thing about these freezer packs is that they provide a constant that will help your class design and conduct a lot of experiments. Reusing these in your classroom is also a great environmental message.

A few ideas for experiments :

  • Engineer the best picnic cooler. (Save styrofoam boxes and pellets from shipments you have received).
  • Determine the optimum place to put a freezer pack in a standard cooler.
  • What conditions speed up/slow down warming or cooling? Correlate the data with ambient temperature.
  • Investigate the heat conductivity of different solids and liquids. Put the packs in ziplock bags and immerse them in oily/messy liquids.
  • Surface area experiments: curl them up, lay them flat, stack them vertically/horizontally, spread them out. Relate this information to physical science, chemistry and even biology.
  • The contents of freezer packs are non-toxic. Open them up and do carbohydrate, lipid, protein, and other chemical tests on the contents.
  • Place them on different parts of the hands and arms to create a cold sensitivity map.

As useful tools:

  • Keep them in the freezer to use instead of ice cubes for chemistry or biology activities.
  • Putting live insects in a freezer for a few minutes will slow them down. Place the gel packs under the insects to keep them cool while observing them with microscopes or magnifying glasses.

Hope this helps!


Photo credit: By Dhenning2005, aka Dave Henning [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

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1 Response to Freeze! We're doing science!

  1. Dori Hess says:

    These are SUPER ideas!

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