Ready steady jam jars

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A Climate Challenge Fund activity. This is a simple game that will teach the young people the meaning of insulation, by investigating the different insulation values of everyday materials. It is based on the game style of Ready Steady Cook, allowing the group to vote by using 'hot pepper' or 'cold cucumber'


Clear sticky tape
Colouring pencils
White paper
Warm water
8 Jam Jars with lids
Insulating materials eg cotton wool
Polystyrene, bubble wrap
Wooly scarf
A sock
Tin foil
Cling film
Scorecards (provided)


1. Print off the score cards and photocopy them so all the young people have a red pepper and a cool cucumber, if you are using this activity as described in the Oct/Nov 07 Beaver Scout Supplement to the Scouting Magazine print off the score cards labled 'Score Cards Supplement'
2. Instruct the Beaver Scouts to wrap each jam jar with one of the insulation materials provided. Use sticky tape to attach the material to the jam jar, trying not to leave any gaps. Leave one of the jars uncovered to act as a control Once each jar is covered with the insulation materials place them in a row in front of the young people. Explain to them that the jars are to be filled with warm water and that the purpose of the materials wrapped around each jar is to keep the water inside the jar warm. The better the material is a keeping the water warm the cooler the jar will be to touch on the outside.
3. Ask the young people to guess which materials they think will be best at keeping the warmth in and which will let the heat escape. Take a vote and place a red pepper by those jars where they think they heat will escape and cool cucumbers by the jars that keep the heat in. If you are using this activity as described in the supplement ask the Beaver Scouts to try and rate the insulation properties by holding up a score card
4. Carefully fill each jam jar with hot water and screw the lid on tightly
5. Allow each member of the group to hold each jar to see how efficient the material is at keeping the heat in and decide whether the initial predictions were correct. Once all of the jars have been scored, you can then discuss the meaning of insulation

See also follow up activities on the uploaded file


  • climate change
  • experiment
  • Insulation

Badge Links

  • Experiment - Explain
  • Experiment - Investigate
  • Experiment - Predict