Science project

Does Water Temperature Cause Metal to Expand and Contract?

Third Grade Science Science projects: Does Water Temperature Cause Metal to Expand and Contract?

Research Questions:

  • Does metal change in response to temperature?
  • What happens when a metal contracts or expands?


All matter tends to change shape and volume in response to changes in temperature, a process called thermal expansion. In this experiment, we'll observe the effects of thermal expansion on metal, which is an excellent conductor for heat.


  • Two identical containers with tight-fitting metal vacuum lids, such as pickle jars
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Protective gloves
  • Stop watch

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Run cold water over one container, right side up, for 30 minutes. Then try to open it. Time how long it takes to open.
  2. Now run hot water over the second container for 30 minutes. Time how long it takes to open.
  3. Record your results.

Terms/Concepts:Molecular order; contraction/expansion in relevance to heat; Metals


Author: Sofia PC
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely

What could we do to improve

Please note: Use the Contact Us link at the bottom of our website for account-specific questions or issues.

What would make you love

What is your favorite part about