Warm Up Challenge

Warm Up Challenge

Real-world solo
3 points

Winter camping may sound extreme, but thanks to cozy blankets, four season tents and thermal underwear, enjoying the great outdoors is safe for campers all season long! But what about animals living in frigid conditions?

The Arctic is known for its freezing temperatures—so how do these critters stay warm when the temperature dips waaaay below zero? For many of them, a layer of fat, called blubber, is to thank! Want to see how effective the layer of fat really is? Try this experiment to see how critters like whales, seals, and polar bears stay snug.

This experiment uses lots of ice water, so head outside before attempting it (your floors and parents will thank you!). Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic bags
  • Shortening (usually found in the baking cupboard in the kitchen)
  • Duct tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket of ice water

Test it out! Start by making your blubber glove by filling a plastic bag a little less than half full with shortening. Put on your rubber glove and insert your hands into the bag of shortening. Ask an adult to tape the bag closed around your wrist. Now place your hand in the icy water. Ta-da! You have the same heat protection (for your hand) as a polar bear!