This image shows materials for insulator and conductor activities, including an insulated cup, beaker, thermometer, timer, and hot cocoa packet. The text reads "insulators and conductors."

Conductor and Insulator Activities for Middle School

How do you teach conductors and insulators? How can you get your middle school students excited about thermal energy? What are the applications of conductors and insulators to everyday life? What are some fun conductor and insulator activities for middle school? 

If you are a teacher looking for the answers to any of these questions, read on!

Assign a STEM Challenge

Traditionally, Science classes have included a lot of memorization of facts and information. In your old thermal energy unit, you may have asked students to give definitions of key terms like heat, insulators, and conductors. You probably had them identify examples of conductors and insulators and compare and contrast heat and thermal energy. 

This knowledge of science concepts is important, but when you take your conductor and insulator activities a step further, and ask your students to apply these ideas in a STEM challenge, you will see deeper learning, more engagement, and a greater understanding of what it means to “do science.”

Hot cocoa cup STEM challenge for conductor and insulator activities

Time for a Hot Cocoa Party!

You’re ready to push your students’ understanding of insulators and conductors to the next level. Now what? 

Plan a hot cocoa party! But… due to poor planning on your part, you only have flimsy cups to serve the hot chocolate. Challenge your students to design cups that will keep the hot cocoa warm for at least 30 minutes. With timers, thermometers, plastic or paper cups, and clean recyclable materials (or other random building supplies in your cupboards), your students will be ready to design and build their own insulated cups to ensure maximum cocoa enjoyment! 

This project is perfect for helping your students solidify and apply their knowledge of thermal energy, heat transfer, conductors, and insulators. If you follow the Next Generation Science Standards, you’ll also be addressing MS-PS3-3 and MS-ETS1-1. 

Grab this resource today so you can take a break from planning and know your students will still be learning and having fun as you wrap up your conductor and insulator activities! 

What’s included in the conductor and insulator STEM project?

  • Printable, Google and Easel versions of the student project and worksheets that guide students through the engineering design process
  • Embedded links to quality background research video clips and an article
  • A detailed lesson plan and slideshow for easy lesson facilitation
  • An easy-to-use grading rubric
  • Flexible building materials, so you can use what you have on hand
  • Printable certificates for student engineers
  • Suggestions for building materials, distance learning, and differentiation

Want more engaging STEM challenges?

This image shows STEM Challenges for middle school on a wooden table background. The text reads "middle school STEM challenge bundle."

Save 20% when you grab the STEM challenge bundle! Then you’ll have rigorous and engaging STEM projects ready to go all year long!

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Hi, I'm Trilby!

I help middle school educators like you facilitate high quality STEM lessons that engage and challenge students while saving time and energy.

Grab your free STEM lesson!