Altoids Lab: Design an Experiment to test the Effect of Mints on Mouth Temp.

Altoids Lab: Design an Experiment to test the Effect of Mints on Mouth Temp.
Altoids Lab: Design an Experiment to test the Effect of Mints on Mouth Temp.
Altoids Lab: Design an Experiment to test the Effect of Mints on Mouth Temp.
Altoids Lab: Design an Experiment to test the Effect of Mints on Mouth Temp.
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121 KB|14 pages
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Brief: In this lab, students will test the question, "Do Altoids (mints) lower the temperature of my mouth?" by designing a simple experiment, collecting data, and analyzing the results. Details can be found below. The results should show that, although mints (menthol) make our mouths feel colder, they do not actually lower the temperature of our mouths (temperature nerves are stimulated by menthol). The lab can take anywhere from 50 minutes to two days, depending on how it is used.

DCI’s: LS1.D Information and Information Processing

Cross Cutting Concepts: Cause and Effect, Scale Proportion, and Quantity

Scientific and Engineering Practices:
Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Data, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Using Mathematical Thinking


Prior Knowledge: No specific prior knowledge is required for this activity. It can serve as a good introductory activity to the process of science (more heavily guided by teacher), or an effective lab to get students to design a controlled experiment (students are more independent). Comes with the lab packet, detailed description of implementation, and suggesting closing discussion.

More Details Below:

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Implementing the Lesson: (Buy the product for the full description)

Materials and Setup: The setup is simple, but there are a few materials that you will have to obtain. You will need the following materials:
1. Peppermint Altoids {up to two mints per student, depending upon how you run this lab (explained a bit further down)}
2. Oral Thermometers (You can have one per lab table, or one per person; again, I'll explain further down, shop around, Harmon's have cheap ones, any pharmacy)
3. Probe Covers (plastic slips that go over the end of the thermometer; one for each student who is using a thermometer - you can get them in Pharmacy, or order in bulk online for cheap)
Note: I put these items on my school supply order
Note: Make sure no students have an allergy to any ingredients (it has never happened in my classes)

I have described two ways in which you could use this lab below. One way is a bit more teacher-guided (introductory activity, lower grades, or differentiated for students who need it). The other describes a more student-driven use.
Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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