Temperature / Pressure Fact Sheet
Temperature is a measure of the heat content. Larger temperature means more
heat (hotter). Smaller temperature means less heat (colder).
Fahrenheit (F), Celsius (C) and Kelvin (K) are the most common
temperature scales. Room
temperature is 68 F, 20 C, or 293 K. Water freezes at 32 F, 0 C, or 273 K.
Water boils at sea level at 212 F, 100 C, or 373 K.
Pressure (P), Volume (V), and Temperature (T) are related for gases by the Ideal
Gas Law. As temperature increases, the pressure and/or volume of the gas
will increase. As temperature decreases, the pressure and/or volume of
the gas will decrease. Most solids and liquids also expand as their
The pressure of the Earth's atmosphere is "1 atmosphere" at sea level and
decreases rapidly as one goes to higher altitudes. In Denver, Colorado at
an altitude of 1.6 km (1 mile altitude), the pressure is 0.9 atmosphere.
At 10 km (6 miles), the altitude at which planes can fly, the pressure is only
0.3 km; thus, planes are pressurized for passenger survival. In outer space, the
pressure is near zero because there is very little gas in outer space.
This lack of gas is a called a vacuum.
Temperature / Pressure Experiment
Introduction: Students measure the temperature of ice water and warm water
and monitor the temperature of warm water after ice is added. In addition,
students insert a balloon filled with air into the ice water and warm water
to see the effect of temperature on the balloon shape.
Supplies: The Boulder Valley School District FOSS Temperature kit includes
the large beakers and thermometers needed for this experiment. A supply of ice
and small balloons are also needed for this experiment.
Procedure: For each group of students, there is a beaker of ice water and
luke warm water. The students measure the temperature of the ice water and
warm water and record their results. With the balloon moderately filled with
air, the balloon circumference (distance around the balloon) is measured.
Then the balloon is inserted into the ice water, and the balloon circumference
is measured once it has shrunk. The balloon is then inserted into the
warm water beaker, and again the balloon circumference is measured.
Finally, ice is added to the warm water and the temperature is monitored
while the water cools off.
Ice Water Temperature : ____________________
Warm Water Temperature : ____________________
Balloon Circumference (distance around the balloon)
At room temperture : ______________________
In ice water : ______________________
In warm water : ______________________
Temperature Changes When Ice and Warm Water are Combined
0 min : __________________
1 min : __________________
2 min : __________________
3 min : __________________
4 min : __________________
5 min : __________________
10 min : __________________