La plate-forme collaborative de bricolages scientifiques et pédagogiques
FR | DE | EN

Thermometer and monitoring board

Note (?)
Difficulté (?)
Durée (?)2h 0 min.
Coût (?)~16 CHF
Languefrançais english deutsch
License (?)

In order to adjust a central heating and save energy, room temperatures must be measured with a thermometer.


The thermometer was invented in the 17th century and its working principle is still used today. Household thermometers contain, inside a glass tube, a small amount of coloured alcohol which expands when heated and moves up by capillary. The  liquid used previously was mercury, but it was considered too toxic. There are also other technologies to measure temperatures like bimetal thermometers (e.g. oven thermometers) or electronic devices.

To demonstrate how a standard thermometer works, it is possible to build a simple model with a jar filled with coloured water and a straw. This DIYs project is not very precise, but it can be calibrated to create a temperature scale.


For accurate measurements, it is better to use a standard household thermometer. The evolution of temperatures can be reported on a monitoring board.

26.11.2012 : Martin
Sur le site des passeport-vacancese de Morges, quelques photos ont été publiées des enfants en pleine activité :           source : Lire la suite
26.11.2012 : Martin
L'activité a été réalisée dans le cadre des passeports-vacances du canton de Vaud.   Un article à été publié dans le journal de la région de Cossonay :   Lire la suite





This project is in two parts

We propose to build first a very simple thermometer. It doesn't make very reliable measurement ...

A. Construction of the thermometer

With a punch, make a hole in the center of the jar lid until you get a hole  matching exactly th ...
Screw the lid back on and insert the straw through the hole in the center of the jar.   ...
Unscrew the lid and fill 3/4 of the jar with water.   Add a few drops of food colou ...
Check if the lid is well fastened.   Blow into the straw and then release the pressu ...
Check if the thermometer works by taking the jar between your hands.   Your body hea ...
Calibrate your home made device with a household thermometer.   To mark the scale, s ...

B. Construction of a monitoring board

Download and photocopy the template. Write down week days and temperatures.
Cover the monitoring A4 sheet with transparent self-adhesive plastic roll.   Fix th ...
Glue two picture hooks on the top back of the monitoring panel and connect them with a string. ...