A CIESE Collaborative Project

Spring 2006 Student Reports

J. F. Kennedy Elementary (Grade 8)

Chicago Heights, Illinois

We learned that there is more to think about when boiling water than we originally thought. We also learned that none of us believed that elevation would matter when it came to the boiling point. We found that boiling point is in fact dependent on elevation. We learned at higher elevations, water would boil at a lower temperature since the gas molecules had more "space to enter into". (Less air pressure.)

We thought if we did this experiment again, we would like to try different types of water and compare that data (like salt water). We did see some correlation between the boiling point and room temperature. We thought if we did the experiment again, we would like to try testing with room temperatures that are more varied (i.e.; extremely cold or extremely hot).

We decided there was not enough data to decide whether the alcohol burner or gas stove would be major factors in the boiling point. We were also curious of the data that would result from boiling a liquid like oil. Would elevation matter as much then?

We hope everyone took something positive from this experiment. We did!

Escuela Internacional Sampedrana

Puerto Cortes, Honduras

Greetings once again, fellow boiler buddies!

After carefully analyzing all of the existing data, we finally came to the conclusion that the elevation of the place where the boiling gets done was the one single factor that affected the boiling point the most. In both sections we plotted data to be able to find a pattern. Everything indicated that there were concentrations of low boiling points at higher elevations and vice-versa. The same results were similar with the room temperatures, which were closely related to the elevation. Still, because we did our experiments with two different heating devices, we also noticed a small scale pattern.

Results with the bunsen burner always reached the boiling point above 100C yet with the hot plate it never reached 100C.We believe this had to do with the fact that a gas burner would heat up the surrounding air more so than the hot plate,an effect of warmer immediate surrounding temperature which would simulate the temperature of a lower elevation site.

If we were to do this project again we would test our extended hypothesis, that the heating devices also had a minor incidence in boiling point results.

We all learned that for water to boil, the pressure built up in the boiling water had to equal the exterior pressure. Because higher elevations had lower air pressure those experiments reached the boiling point sooner and the opposite happened at the lower elevations.

We enjoyed and learned through this experiment. We thank you all for sharing your time and effort, and for the opportunity offered to participate.

Neishabour Students' Research House

Khorasan, Iran

After analyzing data collected by our friends all around the world we realized that the most critical factor influencing boiling point of water is the Elevation. Other monitored factors heating device, room temperature, and volume of water- had no effect on boiling point and only affect the time required for boiling process. This conclusion is in accordance with our hypothesis. This correlation is shown by making an XY graph and drawing a trendline (regression line) and calculating its R2 (R-squared).


We propose to beginners of boiling point project to use high-power heating devices, and select a place adequately far from wind blowing and air current.

H. H. Poole Middle School

Stafford, Virginia

During the Boiling Point Experiment we learned that water won't necessarily boil at 100 C. All of the science books tell us that water boils at 100 degrees, but if the Boiling Point Experiments were correctly done then that is not the case. Most likely the "100 degrees" is an average boiling point. These experiments proved that altitude makes a BIG difference on the boiling point of water. The data supported our hypothesis which indicated that the boiling point of water would be less at higher elevations. Nearly all of the participants in the 2006 Experiment had water boiling at less than 100 degrees Celsius, but the lowest boiling point (92.99 degrees Celsius) was at the highest altitude (1196 meters). Previous years' data indicated water boiling at 91 degrees at an elevation of 2021 meters. We were not sure what to think of the results obtained at 2 meters above sea level with the boiling point of 75 degrees Celsius. If we did this experiment again we'd like to try to standardize the amount of water used, i.e. everyone uses 250 milliliters and the type of heat source, i.e. everyone uses hot plates by a certain manufacturer. Other then that we enjoyed the experiment!

Mrs. Collins' 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th and 7th Period
Grade 8 Science Classes


Crossing Rhodes School

Dexter, Michigan

What we learned was that elevation changes had a major impact on the temperature water will boil. When the elevation went up the temperature the water boiled went down. We also learned when atmospheric pressure is high water boils at a higher temperature because there is more pressure pushing down on the water. So we found out that our hypothesis was wrong. I liked doing this project.