For experiment 1 you will need:
Put the pot of water on the stove, stick the thermometer in it and turn on the stove. You will see (if you are at sea level) that the temperature of the water rises until it hits 212 degrees F. At that point it will start boiling, but it will remain at 212 degrees F. 212 degrees F is the boiling temperature of water at sea level. If you live in the mountains, where the air pressure is less than it is at sea level, the boiling point will be lower. Perhaps 200 degrees F or even 190. Because the air pressure in the mountains is lower, the boiling temperature is lower. This is why, by the way, many foods have "high altitude cooking directions" printed on the box. Because the boiling temperature is lower you have to cook foods longer at high altitude.
- A pot of water
- A thermometer that can measure up to at least 250 degrees F
- A stove
In this experiment you will use an oven instead of the stove you used in Experiment 1. Instead of a pot, you might want to put your water into a clear glass bowl (make sure it's safe for use in the oven) or measuring cup so you can see it, but a pot will do. Put the thermometer in your container of water, put the container in the oven and turn the oven on at 400 degrees F. Make sure the thermometer can measure up to 450 or 500 degrees F.
As the oven heats up, the temperature of the water will again rise until it hits 212 degrees F and then start boiling. Then the water's temperature will stay at 212 degrees F even though it is completely surrounded by an environment that is at 400 degrees F. If you were to let all of the water boil away (and if the thermometer has the range to handle it), then as soon as the water is gone the temperature of the thermometer will immediately rise to 400 degrees F.