Solar4Scholars: Geothermal Experiment
Here's an experiment that will have to be done over time, but it will give you interesting information about geothermal energy.
What you will need.
- A thermometer (an old style mercury thermometer or a waterproof digital)
- A long pole.
- Use duct tape or a tight rubber band to attach the thermometer to the end of your pole.
- Go to a dock or a lakeshore where there is a water depth of three feet or more. Sink the thermometer (attached to the pole) into the mud for a period of at least a minute. Remove. 3. Measure the temperature and record it.
- Record the average air temperature for the time of year and note the difference between the two temperatures.
- Every three months (or every two months, if you wish), go to the same spot and repeat steps 2-4. If the water freezes over during winter, have an adult with you as you break a hole in the ice (be safe!) to obtain your mid-winter temperature readings.
Note: it does not matter what time of year you begin your experiment, as long as you record temperatures over a full year.
What you will learn
Compare the temperature changes:
- How much change was there in the average air temperature?
- How much in the recorded temperature from the water bottom?
What does the experiment show about the usefulness of geothermal energy?
Bonus question: what animals use this form of energy as part of their annual cycle?
Note: this is technically not exactly the same as geothermal, but what works for water is an indication of what works for earth.