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Physical Properties of Matter 
Building a House Model- 
Conductors 
And 
Insulators 
TEKS 5.5A
5.5 The student knows that matter has measurable 
physical properties and those properties determine 
how matter is classified, changed, and used. 
The student is expected to . . . 
*A. classify matter based on physical properties including 
mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), 
relative density (sinking and floating), solubility in water, 
and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy, or 
electric energy
Heat Energy 
• Heat moves from areas of high temperature to 
areas of low temperature. 
• When two bodies of different temperatures come 
into contact, they will exchange heat energy until 
the temperature of both is made the same. 
• The amount of energy ttrraannssffeerrrreedd is the 
amount of heat exchanged.
Temperature 
• Temperature measures the 
physical property of ‘how 
hot’ or ‘how cold’ material 
is 
• Celsius is the common SI 
unit for temperature 
measurement. ° C 
• Thermometers are the 
scientific tools used to 
measure temperature.
Conductors of Heat Energy 
• Materials that DO transfer heat energy from 
higher temperature to lower temperature areas. 
Heat energy flow 
**************************************************************************************************************************************************** 
• Examples 
– materials made of metal and glass 
Conduction means allowing the transfer of heat from a 
higher temperature area to a lower temperature area.
Insulators of Heat Energy 
• A material that does NOT transfer heat readily 
Heat energy 
Insulator 
************************************************************************************************************************************* 
• Examples 
– materials made of rubber, wood, cloth 
– materials that have air pockets 
Insulation means providing a barrier to the flow of 
energy, in this case, heat.
Heat insulation is also called 
thermal insulation 
The blanket keeps body heat (heat energy) close to 
the boy. Heat energy is not transferred into the 
surrounding air. 
The house insulation in the walls and attic will slow 
down the transfer of heat. In cold weather, inside a 
warm house will be warmer than the outside 
temperature. In hot weather, inside a cool house will 
be cooler than the outside temperature. 
The styrofoam cup slows down heat transfer. A cold 
drink in the cup will stay colder than the surrounding 
air. A hot drink in the cup will stay hotter than the 
surrounding air 
.
Practice your learning 
Conductors 
• Describe conductors. 
• Give an example of a 
conductor. 
• Describe a practical 
use of a heat 
conductor. 
Insulators 
• Describe insulators. 
• Give an example of an 
insulator. 
• Describe a practical 
use of a heat 
insulator.
Heat conductors and 
insulators in the classroom 
A classroom model
Students are building a model of a 
house using a cardboard box and 
other common materials. They will 
test the insulating properties of 
materials that could be used in the 
attic of the model.
1. Choose the insulating material to use in 
the attic of the model that will keep the 
house the coolest. 
A. Aluminum 
foil 
D. Glass plate 
C.Styrofoam 
B. Metal 
screen
C.Styrofoam 
Correct: 
Styrofoam is a good insulator and will not conduct 
heat. The styrofoam will not allow much heat 
energy from the lamp to transfer to the attic. 
Incorrect choices: 
Metals, like aluminum and screens, and glass 
plates are poor heat insulators, but good heat 
conductors. These materials will allow the heat 
energy from lamp to transfer to the attic.
2. The primary heat energy source for the 
model house system is 
A. the classroom window. 
B. the lamp when lit. 
C. the air in the room. 
D. the outside temperature.
Correct: B, the lamp when lit 
The lamp when turned on and aimed at the roof of 
the model house supplies the heat energy. 
Incorrect choices: 
A. Classroom window is probably too far from 
model. 
B. Room temperature air would not provide any 
additional heat to the model. 
C. Since the model is constructed indoors, the 
outside temperature would not affect it.
3. Materials are considered heat insulators 
when they 
A. change heat to light. 
B. transfer heat energy easily. 
C. make their own heat. 
D. help block the transfer of heat.
Correct: D, when they block the transfer of 
heat 
Materials that are insulators do not let heat energy 
pass through them easily. 
Incorrect choices: 
A. Heat energy is not being changed to light. 
B. Materials that are heat conductors let this form 
of energy pass through them easily. 
C. Insulators are not the source of heat energy.
4. Which statement best describes the 
cardboard house model? 
A. The model is built to demonstrate electric 
conductors. 
B. The model shows materials students 
should not use. 
C. Melting of the model house is a safety 
problem. 
D. In the natural world, solar energy would 
provide the heat.
Correct: D, the lamp is a representation of 
the Sun and solar energy 
Incorrect choices: 
A. The purpose of building the model is to test 
materials for heat insulation not electricity 
conduction. 
B. The materials are appropriate for student use. 
C. If safety rules are not observed, burning, not 
melting, could be a problem.
5. Which attic material insulated the model 
house best? 
Attic materials 
tested 
Thermometer 
readings 
Aluminum foil 35ºC 
Metal screen 30ºC 
Styrofoam 20ºC 
Glass plates 25ºC 
A thermometer placed on 
the roof reads 35º C. 
A. Aluminum foil 
B.Metal screen 
C. Styrofoam 
D.Glass plates 
A second thermometer is 
placed inside the house.
Correct: C, styrofoam 
The temperature readings with the thermometer 
placed inside the house indicated when styrofoam 
was used as insulation the temperature was 20ºC-the 
lowest recorded temperature. Materials that are 
insulators do not let heat energy pass through them 
easily. 
Incorrect choices: 
All the other materials had recorded temperatures of higher 
than 20º C. The best insulator should keep the inside of the 
house the coolest (the lowest temperature). 20º was also 
lower than the temperature of the heat from the lamp as 
recorded with the roof thermometer.

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Conductors & insulators

  • 1. Physical Properties of Matter Building a House Model- Conductors And Insulators TEKS 5.5A
  • 2. 5.5 The student knows that matter has measurable physical properties and those properties determine how matter is classified, changed, and used. The student is expected to . . . *A. classify matter based on physical properties including mass, magnetism, physical state (solid, liquid, and gas), relative density (sinking and floating), solubility in water, and the ability to conduct or insulate thermal energy, or electric energy
  • 3. Heat Energy • Heat moves from areas of high temperature to areas of low temperature. • When two bodies of different temperatures come into contact, they will exchange heat energy until the temperature of both is made the same. • The amount of energy ttrraannssffeerrrreedd is the amount of heat exchanged.
  • 4. Temperature • Temperature measures the physical property of ‘how hot’ or ‘how cold’ material is • Celsius is the common SI unit for temperature measurement. ° C • Thermometers are the scientific tools used to measure temperature.
  • 5. Conductors of Heat Energy • Materials that DO transfer heat energy from higher temperature to lower temperature areas. Heat energy flow **************************************************************************************************************************************************** • Examples – materials made of metal and glass Conduction means allowing the transfer of heat from a higher temperature area to a lower temperature area.
  • 6. Insulators of Heat Energy • A material that does NOT transfer heat readily Heat energy Insulator ************************************************************************************************************************************* • Examples – materials made of rubber, wood, cloth – materials that have air pockets Insulation means providing a barrier to the flow of energy, in this case, heat.
  • 7. Heat insulation is also called thermal insulation The blanket keeps body heat (heat energy) close to the boy. Heat energy is not transferred into the surrounding air. The house insulation in the walls and attic will slow down the transfer of heat. In cold weather, inside a warm house will be warmer than the outside temperature. In hot weather, inside a cool house will be cooler than the outside temperature. The styrofoam cup slows down heat transfer. A cold drink in the cup will stay colder than the surrounding air. A hot drink in the cup will stay hotter than the surrounding air .
  • 8. Practice your learning Conductors • Describe conductors. • Give an example of a conductor. • Describe a practical use of a heat conductor. Insulators • Describe insulators. • Give an example of an insulator. • Describe a practical use of a heat insulator.
  • 9. Heat conductors and insulators in the classroom A classroom model
  • 10. Students are building a model of a house using a cardboard box and other common materials. They will test the insulating properties of materials that could be used in the attic of the model.
  • 11. 1. Choose the insulating material to use in the attic of the model that will keep the house the coolest. A. Aluminum foil D. Glass plate C.Styrofoam B. Metal screen
  • 12. C.Styrofoam Correct: Styrofoam is a good insulator and will not conduct heat. The styrofoam will not allow much heat energy from the lamp to transfer to the attic. Incorrect choices: Metals, like aluminum and screens, and glass plates are poor heat insulators, but good heat conductors. These materials will allow the heat energy from lamp to transfer to the attic.
  • 13. 2. The primary heat energy source for the model house system is A. the classroom window. B. the lamp when lit. C. the air in the room. D. the outside temperature.
  • 14. Correct: B, the lamp when lit The lamp when turned on and aimed at the roof of the model house supplies the heat energy. Incorrect choices: A. Classroom window is probably too far from model. B. Room temperature air would not provide any additional heat to the model. C. Since the model is constructed indoors, the outside temperature would not affect it.
  • 15. 3. Materials are considered heat insulators when they A. change heat to light. B. transfer heat energy easily. C. make their own heat. D. help block the transfer of heat.
  • 16. Correct: D, when they block the transfer of heat Materials that are insulators do not let heat energy pass through them easily. Incorrect choices: A. Heat energy is not being changed to light. B. Materials that are heat conductors let this form of energy pass through them easily. C. Insulators are not the source of heat energy.
  • 17. 4. Which statement best describes the cardboard house model? A. The model is built to demonstrate electric conductors. B. The model shows materials students should not use. C. Melting of the model house is a safety problem. D. In the natural world, solar energy would provide the heat.
  • 18. Correct: D, the lamp is a representation of the Sun and solar energy Incorrect choices: A. The purpose of building the model is to test materials for heat insulation not electricity conduction. B. The materials are appropriate for student use. C. If safety rules are not observed, burning, not melting, could be a problem.
  • 19. 5. Which attic material insulated the model house best? Attic materials tested Thermometer readings Aluminum foil 35ºC Metal screen 30ºC Styrofoam 20ºC Glass plates 25ºC A thermometer placed on the roof reads 35º C. A. Aluminum foil B.Metal screen C. Styrofoam D.Glass plates A second thermometer is placed inside the house.
  • 20. Correct: C, styrofoam The temperature readings with the thermometer placed inside the house indicated when styrofoam was used as insulation the temperature was 20ºC-the lowest recorded temperature. Materials that are insulators do not let heat energy pass through them easily. Incorrect choices: All the other materials had recorded temperatures of higher than 20º C. The best insulator should keep the inside of the house the coolest (the lowest temperature). 20º was also lower than the temperature of the heat from the lamp as recorded with the roof thermometer.