Can You Take The Heat?
Jett Witty, Joel West-Sadler
Island Pacific School
Floor Location : J 170 V

This winter has definitely been a cold one. From snow, to ice, to rain, we have had it rough here in British Columbia, compared to what we normally get. That got us thinking. Although our environment outside is really cold, we are still warm within our humble abodes. How is that? We decided to find out. Welcome to our project, Can you take the heat? In our project we wanted to find the most effective and ecofriendly insulator. We wanted to use materials that were inexpensive and easy to find. They also needed to be environmentally friendly because we don’t want to use anything that would harm the environment. We tested a few eco-friendly insulators which were, Hay, Polyester, Shredded Paper, Cotton and Air. We bought two boxes that were the same size. We modified one of them so it was 2 cm smaller than the other one. This made it like a house with a gap in the walls and space for insulation. After this was done we got a 150w light bulb and a plug for it, so we could heat our box to 50°. Once we got the box to 50° we placed in a smart thermometer and started a timer. Every four minutes we would take a picture with a thermal imaging camera. We would repeat this until the temperature of the box was 20°. We would do this for every test. We timed how long it took for the temperature inside the box to reach 20 degrees and then we recorded the time. We were surprised to find that the cotton material was the most effective at insulating the box. We figure that this is because we only had a small space for the insulation and so that if we had had more space, we would have found that the hay had a higher R-value because it would have created more empty spaces which provide the insulative properties. Through our research and experimenting, we decided that hay bale construction for homes is a good inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative.