Module 1 • Arctic Exploration: Traveling on the Land
Student Page 1-6a
How Fat is a Peanut?
To find out how many calories are stored in a peanut, we will burn it and use the heat produced to
warm some water. Then, knowing how many grams of water were warmed and how many degrees
the temperature of the water rose, we can calculate the calories.
Materials
– Ring stand or other type of hanger support – Peanuts, mini-marshmallows
– Aluminum can – Graduated cylinder
– Aluminum foil – Celsius thermometer
– Clay – Matches
– Straight pins – Water
Procedure
1. Use ring stand with a hook to hold the aluminum can. Adjust the ring stand or hanger support so
the bottom of the can is about 6 centimeters above ring stand base.
2. Wrap the ring stand with aluminum foil. Leave an opening to slide clay in under can.
3. Measure 100 milliliters of water and place it in the can.
4. Take the temperature of the water. Record your measurement on the worksheet.
5. Place the head of a pin in a hunk of clay. Place half a shelled peanut on the point. Light the pea-
nut with a match. As soon as it starts to burn on its own, place it under the can in the calorimeter
and allow it to burn.
If the peanut sputters and goes out before it looks all burned up, get a new half peanut and fresh
water, and start over.
When the peanut looks all burned up and goes out, take the temperature of the water again.
6. Record the temperature on your worksheet.
7. Calculate the Calories using the following formula:
*Amount of water used = (___milliliters = ___grams)
*Temperature of water in degrees C before burning
*Temperature of water in degrees C after burning
*Difference in temperature
*calories = (mass of water in grams) x (temperature change in degree C)
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