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Teacher support material
Thermocolour paper
Thermocolour paper changes colour depending on the temperature, providing a striking visual
means of displaying temperature changes. The film responds quite rapidly. It can be used to
illustrate many concepts linked with heat and temperature, including friction, conduction,
insulation, feeling hot and cold, convection, radiation, evaporation and the greenhouse effect.
Tips on its use
Before students use the themocolour paper for the first time, they should spend a little time
becoming familiar with it. Putting the cards on the fingertips allows the range of colours
produced as the film warms up to be seen – from black to brown to green to blue. It is important
to note that the dark blue colour seen when it is hottest is quite similar to the black colour seen
when it is cold.
Possible uses
…conversion of chemical energy in food into heat energy
OB64 human activity affects the environment...negatively (eg greenhouse effect)
...metals conduct...heat
OP18 ...sun is primary source of energy...
OP20 ...chemical energy to electrical energy to heat energy...
OP30 ...bodies radiate heat...
OP31 ...transfer of heat energy by conduction, convection and radiation...
OP32 ...good and bad conductors of heat...insulating ability of different materials...
OP33 ...light is a form of energy...
OP34 ...light travels in straight lines...
OP53 ...heating effect...of an electric current
Independent investigation
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