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Keeping Cool

Keeping Cool

Make a special glove to feel how fur can keep a pet cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Pet Power

Part of our Outdoor Science Adventures
Time Needed:
5-15 minutes
Grade:
Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade
Subject:
Life Science, Physics
Educator Rating:
5
Parent Rating:
0

What I'll Learn

Long fur acts as insulation, which helps keep animals warm in the winter, but did you know that can also keep them cool in the summer? With this simple hands-on experiment, you will be able to feel how this works!

What to Do

What I Need

What to Do: Step-by-Step Instructions

1

Pour warm water (not too hot) into the bowl until it is about 2/3 full.

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2

Open both of your plastic food storage bags and set them aside.

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3

Place one of your hands inside your mitten or glove, or ask a friend to help you wrap your scarf around your hand.

Tips & Tricks:

If you use a scarf, make sure it is covering your whole hand, including your fingers.
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4

Put your cloth-covered hand inside one of the plastic bags and your bare hand inside the other bag.

Tips & Tricks:

Make sure you cannot see any of the skin on your hand that is covered in your cloth! If you can, remove the plastic bag and reposition the cloth covering.
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5

Dip and hold the fingers of both your plastic-covered hands in the warm water, making sure water does not make its way inside the bag. Do either of your hands feel hot? If so, which one? Take your “gloves” out of the water and set them aside.

Fun Fact:

When it is hot, humans can do many things to keep cool, such as wearing shorts, sitting in the shade, or jumping into cool water. Our bodies also work hard to keep us cool in the summer (and warm in the winter). This is called “thermoregulation”. Most other mammals, including many pets, keep themselves cool in the summer using thermoregulation too. But while we sweat to do so, a dog sticks out its tongue and pants.
6

Add ice to the bowl of water to cool it down. You want it to be cold to the touch.

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7

Place your hands back inside the plastic “gloves”, making sure one of your hands is once again completely covered in your cloth of choice.

Fun Fact:

Some people think that pets with long hair get really hot in the summer because of their thick fur coat. But did you know that long fur actually helps them stay cool? Long fur traps in cool air to help your pet from overheating. In the winter, their fur is able to trap in warm air to keep them from getting too cold. This means their fur acts as an “insulator”, which stops heat or cold from passing through the fur to your pet’s body.
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8

Dip and hold the fingers of both your plastic-covered hands in the cold water, making sure water does not make its way inside the bag. Do either of your hands feel cold? If so, which one?

Fun Fact:

If you want your pet to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, make sure you don’t cut their hair very short, but it is still important to keep their fur clean and brushed. Dirty and tangled hair doesn’t insulate as well as clean fur.
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