Sarah’s Scientific Study: Blubber Protection

Watch the video of Sarah’s science experiment at Fair Oaks Elementary School here! Hello parents, teachers, and students! Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Sarah Spivey does the demonstrations and explains the science behind it. Science with Sarah in partnership with the San Antonio Zoo (Copyright KSAT 2023 – All rights reserved).

Materials needed for experiment (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.): A large bowl filled with ice water, 2 Ziploc baggies, Crisco or other vegetable shortening.

DO THE EXPERIMENT: STEP 1: Fill a large bowl with ice and water. STEP 2: Place your hand in the ice water and see how long you can keep it in there before it gets too cold. STEP 3: Fill a Ziploc bag with some Crisco. STEP 4: Place your hand in another Ziploc baggie, then place your bagged hand into the other bag filled with the shortening. This creates a layer of “blubber” around your hand. STEP 5: Stick your “blubbered” hand into the ice water bath. You should be able to keep it in the ice water for a LOT longer! You should be able to stick your hand in an ice water bath for a lot longer! (Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.)

Many marine animals such as polar bears, whales, walruses, and seals use blubber to keep them warm from icy waters. Without the blubber, they wouldn’t be able to survive. In this experiment, we used the shortening and ziplock bag to act as a protective layer of blubber for our hand against the cold of the ice water.

If you’d like Sarah and David to come to your school and conduct a science experiment live on KSAT, fill out this form. “Winners” are selected at random. Copyright 2024 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

By Samantha Robertson

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