We connected wirelessly one of our temperature probes to the iPad. Then, we taped our probe on a flat surface so that the metal was NOT touching the surface. Next, we placed the black piece of paper on top of the probe, turned on a light and watch the program graph our data for 10 minutes or 600 seconds (am I good at math or what?).
Next, we switched out our temperature probe ( IT WAS HOT) for a room temperature probe . We repeated the same process that was done with black piece of paper with the white piece of paper. We then again switched out our hot temperature probe and repeated the same procedure with aluminum foil. We were inferring albedo based on temperature.
We had some funny experiences with this project! One of the lamps had gotten too close to the paper below and the paper started to SMOKE! If we had not caught the paper smoking when we did it may have started a fire! Imagine that!
After the data was recorded we found that the aluminum foil reflects better than the white, and the white better than the black.
How does this relate to climate change? One example is the polar ice caps. The water by the polar ice caps absorbs the sun's light more than the ice caps that reflect the sun's rays. When the water absorbs light, it heats up the water, then this in turn melts the polar ice caps. This creates more water and less ice to reflect the light. This cycle continues in an endless loop. More water equals more light being absorbed and less ice means less light being reflected overall. Thus, leads to more water around it, and the process continues (There are many more examples).
I hope that this project seems exciting to you. If you want to learn even more ASK! Let our experience with paper help you remember NOT to let your paper go up in flames as we did. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged.