Students measure heat in cars - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Students measure heat in cars

August 6, 2004

Ashburn- An hour before the sun reaches it's noontime peak temperatures are already soaring, but throw in a couple of glass windshields and the heat becomes deadly.

"Several times this summer I heard a news broadcast that said children had been left in the car. I'm sure that people think, 'well I'm just going to be gone one minute'," says Turner County High School Physics teacher Vicki Sherling.

But as her class found out, one minute can means dozens of degrees. She had her class measure how hot a vehicle would get at different time intervals.

"We used a CBL which is a computer based laboratory. It's a little computer, and you can hook up to three probes to it. We hooked two of them to it. One went inside of the vehicle about where the child's face would be. The others would be on the outside, usually taped up around the vehicle's chassis," explains Greg White.

They tested three different cars and trucks around the parking lot, and after just three minutes, the average temperature inside the vehicles was a whopping 111 degrees.

"I already knew not to leave anything, but now I know not to leave anything for any period of time, really," says White.

"I wouldn't leave anything alive in the truck for a long period of time, not even three minutes now," says Kyle Wilkerson.

Some temperatures varied 40 degrees between the inside and outside of the vehicles, something the high school seniors hope parents and pet owners will take to heart.

"Really, we just hope people learn that it gets pretty hot in those things pretty quick, so just running into the grocery store for two minutes could be very dangerous," says White.

The students ran the experiment from 11:15 AM to 3:15 PM. After the four-hour period, the temperature in one car had reached 140 degrees.

Posted at 6:15 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com