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Calorimeter Kit

Ideal for Grades 6+
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Use this Calorimeter Kit for an engaging, hands-on exploration of Chemistry. Build your own calorimeter, and test your favorite snack foods to see which ones store more chemical energy - also known as calories! Read More

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Build your own food calorimeter and discover the science behind burning calories!

Have you ever wondered how nutritionists measure the calories in a certain food? With a little math and a device called a calorimeter, you can compare the amount of energy or amount of heat stored in your favorite snacks. This calorimetry kit provides you with the key supplies to build a simple, double can calorimeter for testing a variety of food samples in real-time.

Science Buddies scientists thought long and hard about the materials to use in this calorimeter and settled on parts that can be easily and safely assembled at home. This homemade calorimeter is uniquely designed to provide data that can be used to compare the caloric content of different foods. The different sized cans nest perfectly for efficient and specific heat transfer from the chemical reaction of burning foods, which results in more robust calorie readings. Easy-to-follow online instructions make assembly a breeze, which means you can focus on the thermodynamic experiment and doing your best scientific work!

Instructions for this kit are available online. See below for links to the instructions and more.

Note: For added convenience, we pre-drilled the holes on both cans and removed the bottom of the large can, so the parts are ready for assembly right out of the box.

You will also need from home:
Household items, including aluminum foil, digital scale, food items, and long matches. Please consult the instructions for a complete list of required materials.


Instructions are NOT included with the kit, but are available online from Science Buddies.



Each Calorimeter Kit Contains:

  • 1 Large tin can, 6 3/16 inches by 7 inches; no lid or bottom; hole-punched per instructions
  • 1 Small tin can, 3 3/8 inches by 4 1/16 inches; no lid; hole-punched per instructions
  • 1 Wooden dowel, 12 inches by 1/4 inch
  • 1 Cork, No 9
  • 1 Aluminum foil pan, 9 inch diameter
  • 4 Sewing needles, sharps size 10
  • 2 14 gauge wire, 6 inch length
  • 1 Plastic graduated cylinder, 250 mL
  • 1 Immersion thermometer
  • 1 Safety glasses


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