We had our favourite guest science teacher in last week, Granddad, to help us learn about heat and temperature. I had to go out for the afternoon, and he was left with a science book, two grandchildren, a large lump of plasticine, two drinking straws, two empty cola bottles, some ink and the tap to construct thermometers! He had (by prior arrangement) brought a thermometer with him to help calibrate the ones they built.
Our experiment was pretty similar to the one found here:
In theory, the experiment sounded pretty easy. However, life does not always go as planned, and unfortunately, one "thermometer" refused to work. Also, unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the thermometers. One worked fairly well though! The next day, we fiddled with the one being difficult, and it STILL wouldn't work, so eventually it was taken apart. We had a good discussion though about heat, temperature, and what those little molecules are doing to make thermometers work, and both children had a pretty good grasp of it. Then we pretended we were molecules in an ice cube, and were being heated. It ended with us evaporating (rushing out of the room!!).
All that to say, that often the pursuit of science is filled with ups and downs. Especially if you're a little molecule in a thermometer!!