Blog

This cold weather is all in your head…

The chill of this very cold Kentucky morning reminds us that winter is here to stay for a while, but I find myself asking, “what is cold, anyway?”, and what does our brain have to do with it?

Well, cold is a relative term. We feel “cold” or “hot” based on what our body is used to feeling; and in turn, what our brain interprets as comfortable (and uncomfortable) temperature. For example, if we spent a week in the tropics, then traveled to a cooler climate of 50 degrees, we’d feel cold… but on a day like today; 50 degrees would feel like a warm relief.

While you’re home today, try beating the winter chill with this cool activity that demonstrates the relativity of water temperature. You’ll need three bowls you can fill with water, and a volunteer.

First, fill each bowl; the first with warm water, the second with lukewarm water, and the third with cold water. Then, place them on a table with the lukewarm water in the center.

Place one hand in the warm water and the second in the cold water and hold them for 30 seconds. Next, place both hands in the lukewarm water at the same time.

What do you feel? This strange sensation is your brain trying to figure out what’s up – one hand will feel cold, and the other will feel warm!

Today is a great day to explore with states of matter, and try another favorite of mine – frozen bubbles (instructions at this link: http://www.stevespangler.com/experiment-of-the-week/cold-weather-science-frozen-bubbles/).

Now bundle up, stay safe, and have some science fun!

 

*Image courtesy of highlightskids.com
 

If you and your family find this experiment fun, check out our upcoming education programming, and stay tuned for Spring Break and Summer Camp information. 

About the Author

Picture of Kim Allgeier

Kim Allgeier

Kim Allgeier is a seasoned education professional with more than 10 years’ experience designing programs in a variety of informal education settings. Allgeier served as Education and Interpretation Manager for The Parklands for two years. Her expertise was critical in developing and implementing the enriching educational programs that are the core of The Parklands of Floyds Fork mission. Allgeier is a graduate of Western Kentucky University where she studied history and library media education.

We are a donor-supported public park We count on you!

$1,115,000 To Date
44%
$2,550,000 2018 Goal

Being a donor-supported public park means we rely on donations, not tax dollars, for annual operations each year. Because of your generosity, we are able to maintain, program, and further develop this extraordinary public space without charging an entry fee. Together we work to enhance quality of life and help our community and economy grow in ways that are healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable for people of all ages. Help us reach our goal of sustaining The Parklands by becoming a Member today. Members make it happen!

Become a Member