Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit: A Lesson in Physics

Gabriel Fahrenheit: Born May 14, 1686 

He was an instrument maker & glass blower born to merchants in Germany and after the loss of both of his parents was raised in the Netherlands.

He made the first reliable thermometer and the temperature scale he created is named after him.

We were able to read a biography together about Fahrenheit which led us to see about some of the book sources at the bottom of the entry. I thought it would be neat for the kids to read about some of the great experiments in physics and on the way home this evening from the university library is The Great Experiments in Physics.

We recalled the Fahrenheit Scale by referencing the boiling and freezing point of water. The kids jotted some notes down as we talked about Mr. Fahrenheit using a notebooking page on scientists from The Notebooking Fairy– thanks Jimmie!

Even J6 took some good notes. Great job!
Great drawing of Mr. Fahrenheit R11!

I’m going to let the kids decide what they’d like to test with the temperature recorders. Dan brought home a few more. These are little recording units that come with some chemicals he used to order for the lab (when he worked in the lab- now he visits many labs. Right, Dan?). What sorts of experiments can you think of with regard to temperature? Compare thermometer scales. Which is easier? Why did Fahrenheit choose his references? How does Celsius simplify the scale? How about practicing reading an alcohol thermometer? You can have a lot of fun discussing phase changes as well. So many possibilities!

E13 has been doing temperature conversion between Celsius and Fahrenheit in his Life of Fred Beginning Algebra…he only has a few more lessons before starting Advanced Algebra.
The start of our weather log

I love to track the weather with the kids and E13 made us a new recording sheet which we’ll be putting into a weather log to be kept by the kids. I plan to use it to track and forecast weather based on what the log book is saying about barometric pressure and wind direction and speed.

Enjoy thinking about how you can apply some temperature studies in your homeschool by celebrating a notable physicist’s birthday- on May 16th!

For more mini unit studies and ways to celebrate with May Birthday lessons, click the link to visit iHomeschool Network and all the great homeschool bloggers joining up to share in the fun!

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Enjoy learning more about physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit and trying experiments with temperature!

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  1. I wish you had done this before we worked on our Marie Curie unit. It would have helped. Great birthday idea.

  2. Oh, I remember those temperature machines. You sent us one (or two?) and we enjoyed playing with them!!!Great study!

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