Skip to main content

How to Demonstrate the Principles of Insulation using Crisco

Learn how to demonstrate the principles of insulation using Crisco with the instructions in this Howcast science project video.


Hey, guys. Has this ever happened to you? You turn on the shower. You’re getting ready to take a shower. You take your clothes off, and you step foot into the shower. The water is freezing, and you scream, right?

Well, think about that. The cold water made you literally scream, jump. You jumped out, but why?
Well, I want to show you something really cool. Because some animals, think about it, live in ice cold water. How are they able to do that? Well, I’m going to show you how. And all you need are a few materials that I guarantee you have somewhere in your home.

All I need is water. And, we’re going to pretend to make really icy cold arctic water. I’m going to load this up with ice. Okay?

And just for fun, I always like to do this. When you think of hot, what comes to mind? Red. When you think of cold, what comes to mind? Blue. So check this out. I’m going to add a couple drops of blue food coloring. Just so that it makes you guys really start to think about things that are cold.
Now, I’m going to take my hand, and I’m going to put it in the ice cold water. I’m going to see how long it’ll take me to feel the iciness of this water. Eventually it’s going to hurt to the point that I have to pull my hand out.

Ready? Set. Go. It’s in.

Right now you see, I can take it. I’m a man. Actually, wait. It’s starting to hurt, and it’s really starting to hurt. You see, the ice, the cold from the water is able to penetrate right now through my skin. It’s literally sucking out all the heat from my hand, and right now it’s hurting really bad.
I can’t take it anymore. It hurts.

But, I’m about to do something that’s going to take my hand, go in the water, and I will be able to leave it in the water all day and not even feel the coldness of the water.

Check this out. All I need is a Ziploc bag, and all I need is fat. Yeah, I said fat. Okay? This is called shortening. They use this in cooking.

Now I want you to think about a polar bear. Polar bears live their lives in ice cold water. You know why they don’t feel it? Their entire body is wrapped in blubber. The cold from the water literally cannot get through the fat. So the inside of their bodies are warm. The heat stays in, and the cold stays out because of the fat. If you don’t believe me, try this experiment.

Spoon, bag, fat. I’m going to become a polar bear.

I’m going to grab shortening, blubber, fat.

One. Make sure you leave it all the way at the bottom of your Ziploc bag.

And I’m going to take, two. Don’t touch it. Grab it from the outside of the bag, so you don’t get any of the fat. It’s really, really sticky. It’s really, really greasy. It’s fat.

And I’m going to take three. And, there’s a problem now. Some of you are thinking “Wait a second. Carmelo just said, ‘You’re not supposed to touch it.’ Well, then how am I going to put my hand in there and pretend to be a polar bear?”

Well, I’m going to show you a fun little secret.

Four teaspoons. That’s a lot of fat. Now check this out. I’m going to make polar bear hand.

Get a second Ziploc bag. I’m going to take this, and I’m going to stick this now into the bag of the fat. So it was a Ziploc bag with fat, and my hand in another bag. Now my hand is wrapped around in blubber. Just like a polar bear.

This water right now is freezing, and check this out. Put this one in.

This hand has fat, blubber, protecting me, keeping the heat in and keeping the cold out. This hand has no blubber, and right now, I’m feeling tons of coldness coming through my finger. It’s just sucking out the heat from my hand, and I feel nothing in my polar bear hand.

Okay, it’s starting to hurt. On this one, I’m still like la-de-da-de. I feel nothing. I could swim in this all day. Nothing at all.

If you want to check this out, and you want to become a polar bear, get some vegetable shortening, some Ziploc bags, some ice, some water, and go become a polar bear.

Have fun.

Popular Categories