Heating Curve


Age Range: 11 – 14 years old

Students will investigate the heating of water by combining classic science educational equipment with digital technology. Students will work in groups of 2 or 3 and will manually record the data points onto a line graph supplied and evaluate their results.


  • To understand how water cools from a boiling point.
  • Learn how to manually record data points onto a graph.

Download the Code

MakeCode Editor

Click the button below to download the MakeCode editor code for this lesson. The hex file is contained in a zip folder.

Kindly refer to our download the code page for instructions on how to upload your code onto the micro:bit. Please use instructions set A.

This code can also be uploaded into the MakeCode editor.

Kit Required for the Sensor


Mini Innovation Board

OLED Display

Temperature Probe

- MicroUSB Cable
- Battery Pack
- 2 x Connector Cable
- 2 x AAA Batteries

Apparatus Required

- Bunsen Burner
- Beaker
- Bunsen Burner Stand
- Wire Mesh Gauze
- Ice
- Stopwatch




The Sensor

  1. Connect the micro:bit to the Mini Innovation board via the edge connector.
  2. Use the connector cable to connect the OLED display to the I2C connector on the Mini Innovation Board.
  3. Connect the temperature probe to the ADC1 connector on the mini innovation board using the other connector cable.
  4. Connect the micro:bit to a computer via the microUSB cable.
  5. Download the code for this investigation and upload it onto the micro:bit. Go to the top of this page for more details. Once the code has been uploaded unplug the micro:bit from the computer and connect the external battery pack. Students should test their devices to check the code has uploaded onto the micro:bit correctly. This OLED display should display a number. This number is the temperature reading from the probe. The unit is degrees Celsius.
  6. Download the investigation worksheet.

The Apparatus

  1. Use the illustration to set up the apparatus.
  2. Connect the Bunsen burner up to a gas supply but do not turn on.
  3. Ensure that the beaker is 3/4 filled with ice.


  1. Insert the temperature probe into the ice if not done so already. Ensure that only the metal part of the probe enters the ice. This will help improve the working life of the temperature probe. Take a temperature reading and record it onto the graph provided at minute 0.
  2. Turn on the gas supply and light the bunsen burner. Ensure the bunsen burner is on a medium heat.
  3. After one minute record another reading onto the graph provided.
  4. Repeat the process of recording a reading every minute.
  5. Continue this process until the water to reaches boiling point and then take you final minute interval reading.
  6. Once completed turn off the gas supply to the bunsen burner. Remember the water will be very hot so use extreme caution.
  7. Join the data points on the graph with a straight lines between each data point.
  8. Discuss your findings with other groups and see if they have similar results. If not try to explain the reasons for this.

Taking it Further

  • Conduct an investigation into the effects of pressure on the heating and cooling of water.

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