Kareena’s chemistry – episode 6: heat transfer and insulation


FunKids radio, in collaboration with the RSC, has produced a set of short chemistry snippets introducing children to chemistry- the what, why and how.

Type of Activity

group work, working independently



Age Group


Kareena learns about insulation, conducting, heating and cooling in the context of how a fridge keeps cold.


If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.
  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions including:
    • Grouping and classifying things.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group together everyday materials on the basis of their properties including conductivity (thermal and electrical).

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • What is meant by the terms thermal conductors and insulators.
  • That the properties of thermal conductors and insulators make them suitable for different roles, and what their everyday applications could be.

Suggested activity use

This resource provides a hook into investigating thermal conductors and insulators. Children will learn about the process of heat loss in the context of fridges, and then group and classify other materials in terms of being thermal conductors or insulators.

Practical considerations

Some children may find it difficult to visualise what is being said, so visual images may need to be provided alongside the activity to aid their understanding.

If the activity is going to be used as a hook, then sorting and classifying activities, where students decide if an everyday object is a thermal conductor or insulator, will need to be organised.