A CIESE Collaborative Project

Fall 2004 Student Reports

Oxnad High School

Oxnard, California, USA

Dear Boiling Point Project Participants:
Wow! We did it! We completed the boiling point project. We are students in Miss Wall's chemistry classes. Most of us are juniors taking chemistry as a requirement to go to a California four-year college. We are located at 34deg 12' N and 119deg 11' W in Oxnard, California. Our elevation is approximately 12 meters.
We learned that our hypothesis was correct. We hypothesized that elevation would affect the boiling temperature of water the most, of all of the factors involved. We researched elevation effects and were excited to see our predictions supported by the data from school's with a substantially greater elevation than ours.
We learned about phase changes through this experiment. Next time we would like to do a more exciting lab, but we had fun doing this lab and think we completed it successfully.
Miss Wall's chemistry classes at Oxnard High School


New Brunswich High School

New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

We the students from NEW BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL concluded the following:
1. the two factors that affect boiling point is the atmospheric pressure
2.the temperature
3. the elevation based on longitutude and altitudes

Our elevation was 80 feet and 24.4 meter above sea level, and one atmosphere of pressure the boiling device was the hot plate the average boiling point was 98 degrees Celsius and the room temperature was 22 degrees celsius.
the reaction rate of water as the temperature increased the water vapor has to push harder on the air above it and less pressure caused less air to push out of the way. our system was an open system, therefore we could not measure the variations of pressure and determine the values. Due to
our altitude we found the slit decrease in atmospheric pressure, which affected the boiling point, some groups had a boiling point of 98 decrease celsius. We think the cause of the pressure chan! ! ! ges was because
of the slit of weather patterns that persists at the pole and the affect of cooling the air over the poles.This caused by the weather due to humianity , dry or wet air which we had to experience during last week. Overall this was a great experiement we thank the group leader at
stevens institute for providing all the links and we thank our teacher for letting us participate in such experiment over the internet

Sincerely Yours



George W. Watkins Elementary School

Quinton, Virginia, New Kent

We had a lot of fun doing the International Boiling Point Project. We also liked that we were the only 5th grade that started and completed the project - and that so many other classes were from High Schools! We learned a lot applying the Scientific Method to a real-life project.
Both of our classes found that when we graphed all the data from the schools, we made a correct hypothesis. We hypothesized that altitude would affect boiling point and it looks like we were right! Elevation seemed to be the only variable that had any effect on the degrees that water boiled.
We enjoyed doing this project and would like to complete others in the future!


Albion Middle School

Strongsville, Ohio, USA

We were really surprised at the results of the lab. Before we started, most of us thought that the heat source or volume of water would be the variable that affected the boiling point.
Our data showed us that the elevation appeared to have the greatest correlation to the boiling point. The higher the elevation, the lower the boiling point.
One thing we learned was how to use a spreadsheet and create a graph. We also learned how to add a trend line, which helped us draw our conclusions.
This was a fun lab to do and we look forward to doing more like it. It was neat to look at data from other countries!


Agawam Junior High

Agawam, Massachusetts, USA

Since all five of Mrs. Petschke's 7th grade science classes participated in this project (121 students), we were initially unable to agree on one hypothesis. After analyzing the results, however, we have reached a collective conclusion. It appears as though elevation had the greatest affect on the boiling point of water (as elevation increased, boiling point decreased). We are, however, still unclear about the affect of various heating devices. Since the vast majority of participants used a hot plate (56 of 66), we felt that there wasn't enough data obtian with the other devices to accurately compare the results. In order to determine if the heating device does or does not afftect the boiling point of water, we would like to examine more data obtained with other devices (specifically a Bunsen burner). For future projects we suggest the possible use of an on-line sign-up sheet to equalize the hot plate / Bunsen burner ratio. By participating in this project we learned how the scientific method really works. We also learned that there is more to boiling water than we ever imagined!


Sussex Avenue School of Arts and Sciences

Newark, New Jersey, USA

We really had a lot of fun doing this experiment. It was exciting to see all the data from different schools from other countries.On analyzing the data, we found that the hypotheses made by us were wrong. We learned that the volume of water and room temperature had no effect on the boiling point of water. The only factor that did seem to have an effect on the boiling point of water is elevation. The higher the elevation, the lower the boiling point of the water is. We were able to reach this conclusion based on the graphs we made using microsoft excel scatterplot. We also learned how to add a trend line in each of the graphs.
We could not say whether the type of heating device had an effect on the boiling point of water due to the lack of enough data to make a comparison. The project was extremely exciting and we are looking forward to performing more such interesting experiments.


St. Andrew's School

Barrington, Rhode Island, USA

Based upon our review of the checked data, our conclusion for the boiling point experiment is that elevation is the factor with the strongest correlation to boiling point. Although some of the information seemed to be incorrect and made some of the graphs have odd lines, there was still a noticeable trend to the elevation graph that the other factors did not show. We had originally thought that the amount of water would be the factor to effect the boiling point the most. However, we realize that having less water may not take as long to boil because there is less mass but will still boil at the same temperature regardless of volume if the elevation is the same. We also understand elevation effects the boiling point because of the amount of air pressure pushing down on the surface of the water. At a higher elevation the pressure is less and at a lower elevation (like our school) it is higher. When the pressure is higher the molecules must absorb more energy in order to change state from liquid to gas therefore requiring more energy (temperature). Overall, we thought the experiment went well but in the future it would be nice to use probes to record temperature and Bunsen burners for the heating source.


Hamden Hall Country Day School

Hamden, Connecticut, USA

Hamden Hall Country Day School in Hamden, CT has four eighth grade science classes. Throughout this experiment, we all used the same hot plates and beakers, and used different volumes. Team A used 275mL, Team B used 350mL, Team J used 250mL, and Team K used 300mL. Each individual person was able to form their own hypothesis, based on room temperature, volume, elevation, and the heating device. After we gathered our data, we put our data on graphs. When we combined the data for each variable in all schools, we observed the results. We then analyzed our own data, and compared it to the other three classes, as well as other schools to come to our conclusion.
There was no relationship between volume of water and its Boiling Point. Even though Hamden Hall is basically at sea level our Boiling Points were low because we didn't have enough time to make sure that it remained constant for 10 minutes. The heating devices we used took a long time to boil water so many of our teams were not able to finish thoroughly. However, our school’s data is not an outlier. There was also no relationship between room temperature, which ranged from 18.6-26.5 degrees Celsius, and its Boiling Point for all the schools. Many different schools used different heating devices and we found that it did not affect the boiling point. However out of all the factors, elevation has the greatest effect on the boiling point. For instance, schools around 2,000 meters above sea level had boiling points from 91-94 degrees Celsius. Whereas, schools 300 meters and below had boiling points almost all above 98. Therefore the lower the elevation of the school the higher the boiling point.
As a class we learned that elevation has the greatest effect on the boiling point of water, because of pressure. At a higher elevation, there is less air pressure, and the boiling point is lower. Elevation was the only factor that affected the boiling point out of the type of burner, room temperature, elevation, and volume of water. All the other factors were irrelevant because they only effected the time it takes to boil water. At sea level, there is more pressure, which creates a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius. Higher elevations have lower air pressure making it take less energy for water to boil. We believe, based on our graphs of the project data that the lowest boiling point in the world would be on Mount Everest because of its high elevation and low air pressure. If you were to boil water at the Dead Sea, it would reach the highest boiling point on Earth due to the low elevation and high air pressure.