Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Investigating Commercial Hand Warmers


For centuries, humans have put various items into their mittens and boots to help keep their fingers and toes warm when the weather outside was very cold. There are several different types of products advertised as “hand warmers” or “foot warmers.” Some of these products are designed to retain warmth from an exothermic chemical reaction or a physical change.

One type of hand warmer is composed of a tightly sealed and insulated packet within which there are two smaller packets. One packet holds a volume of water and the other packet holds a powdered solid. You twist or squeeze the packet, and then shake it a little to mix the materials. As the solid dissolves, it releases heat.


In the Initial Investigation, you will use a Temperature Probe to determine the temperature change of two substances as they dissolve in water. After completing the Initial Investigation, you will test several substances to determine which substance is the best hand warmer based on two factors: enthalpy of solution and cost.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Investigating Food Dyes in Sports Beverages
2Determining the Copper Content in Brass
3Investigating Water Hardness
4The Acidity of Juice and Soft Drinks
5Separating Molecules
6Identifying an Unknown Substance
7Investigating the Purity of a Mixture
8Determining the Percent Peroxide in a Commercial Product
9Investigating the Components of a Commercial Tablet
10The Effect of Acid Rain on a Marble Structure
11Investigating the Kinetics of a Crystal Violet Reaction
12Investigating Commercial Hand Warmers
13Investigating LeChatelier’s Principle
14Investigating Acid-Base Titrations
15The Buffering Ability of Commercial Products
16Testing the Effectiveness of a Buffer

Experiment 12 from Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry Lab Book

<i>Vernier Chemistry Investigations for Use with AP* Chemistry</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Dev Reference: VST0709

Go to top