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while you're waiting for the food to come
Great for Science Fair projects!

While You're Waiting for the Food to Come
by Eric Muller, Illustrated by Eldon Doty


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Fool your senses: Hot seems cold and cold seems hot.

- Three bowls
- Ice water, room temperature water or tap water and hot water (but not too hot!)
- Two plates
- Your hands

The Recipe:

1) To catch any spills, place the bowl of hot water and the bowl of cold water on a plate. Hide the bowl of room temperature water.

2) Have your friend place one hand into the hot water and one hand in the cold water.

3) Wait about a minute and tell them to close their eyes.

4) Have them lift their hand out of the hot water and switch the bowl of hot water for the hidden bowl of room temperature water. Ask them, "Is this water hot or cold?" What did they say?

5) After they answer, do the same thing to their "Cold water hand" and ask them the same question.

Food for Thought:

The "hot water hand" should feel cold and the "cold water hand" should feel hot when it's placed in the room temperature water. Why? Your skin has tiny sensors called nerve receptors that send signals to your brain. There are different types of receptors on skin, some sense pressure, some sense pain, and others sense temperature (hot and cold).

Your receptors are best at noticing change. When you put your hands in the water, your brain gets information from your temperature receptors that say, "hey, that's hot" or "whoa, that's cold." If you keep your hands in the hot water or cold water long enough, your nerve receptors get used to the temperature of the water. The room temperature water is cooler than the hot water, and warmer than the cold water. So when you switch to the room temperature water, the receptors that got used to the hot water, send signals that sense it as cold; and the receptors that got used to the cold water sense the room temperature water as hot.

Copyright 1998 Eric Muller
While You're Waiting for the Food to Come"

Original copyright of While You're Waiting for the Food to Come 1995 Eric Muller

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