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EcoKids Report #12

Model Building & Radiance January 23, 1999 

On January 23 artist Eliza Cain introduced the concept of measuring and estimating distance in anticipation of the EcoKids measuring their own houses to build models.

Distance was estimated with sticks, feet, arms and other units. 

If we built a model, where would the doors be? Where would the bell tower be? How would the roof line appear? Without access to a ladder, how can we come up with the height of the roof?

As weather permits, I will go to each EcoKid's home and help them measure. I will also leave some graph paper to help them work with the scale of 1/8 inch equals 1 foot. From our measurements and drawings, we will cut our models out of cardboard. 

Radiance Paint* test: Dave Castelman, Thermographer of R. F. Fisher Electric Company, brought an infrared video camera to see if we could detect a difference in heat loss between our test boxes. Radiance paint is supposed to reflect heat back into the interior of homes, making them warmer and saving energy.

We had three shoe boxes coated with Radiance paint and three boxes coated with regular latex paint. Inside each box were 9 watt Christmas tree lights used as a heat source. A thermometer in each box showed about a 40 degree difference between the weather outside the box and that within. When Dave let us look at the boxes with the infrared camera we could easily see the hot spots where the lights were inside. We could not detect any noticeable difference between the Radiance coated and the regular boxes. Our radiance test was inconclusive. 

The kids did get to see the heat being lost around the leaky doors and windows of the church. We also had fun seeing the imprints of our hands on our coats. After holding our hands in contact with our clothing and then removing them we could see the where the heat remained in the shape of the hand.

Thanks to Dave, Eliza, Roberta Vogel, Ellie Dawson for their help today.

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