How to Make a model Igloo? (for school)?

I need to make a model igloo for a school project, however it has to actually keep in heat. I was thinking of using the design of a thermos, but have no idea how to.....

Design Challenge: “Create an insulated igloo that will keep penguins in the exhibit comfortable.”

The Miami Zoo is considering adding a new area - an Artic Exhibit. However, before they can proceed the Zoo management team needs to make sure the technology exists to provide the necessary habitat requirements for the penguins.

The Chilly Company has been asked to create an insulated igloo to keep the penguins cold. The igloos need to keep the penguins comfortably cold, while the outside temperatures reach over 90°.

You are part of a team of engineers, at the Chilly Cup Company, given the challenge of building a prototype to keep the penguins from overheating. You will have lots of materials to use such as aluminum foil, cotton balls, cardboard, tape, straws, paper clips, string, fabric, rubber bands, and newspaper. The igloo must keep the penguins cool for as long as possible.


Keep penguins cool for an extended amount of time


Tunnel entrance for penguins

Appropriate size

must be environmentally friendly


Time - 2 weeks

Cost of materials

Suggested way to make form of igloo - paper mache

Suggested materials

Aluminum Foil Kitty Litter

Straws, Paper clips String

Fiberfill Duct Tape Masking Tape

Electrical Tape Packaging Tape Cotton balls,

Cardboard Rubber bands Newspaper

Final Products:

-Prototype of igloo

-Written Report: You will write a report showcasing your igloo. You will describe how you designed and built your igloo. You will explain how it works and how the materials you used in the design of your igloo prevents the transfer of heat by conduction, convection and radiation. You will make references to the Kinetic Energy theory of Matter when explaining how heat is transferred. Include a list of materials you used and why you choose them.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    What do you mean by using "the design of a thermos" (vacuum flask)? Do you mean that you want to use a glass interior with an air space or vacuum around it, perhaps a layer of foam, and a non-permeable covering outside of it? Or do you mean something else?

    If you want to use the heat-loss design strategies for thermoses and you want to use glass, you could perhaps use a small (upside down) glass votive holder, then put a layer of polystyrene foam perhaps and build your (ice block) shell both larger that it so that the air space/vacuum would also be there.

    And/or check out more about how thermoses work:

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Styrofoam and cotton balls hold heat well and they are white, just like snow and ice.

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