Energy Cubes

Teaching students about insulation

Energise Ōtaki and Ōtaki College, with funding from Curious Minds, identified that the use of ‘energy cubes’ would allow students to simulate and test different conditions found in homes and in other buildings. Students would learn about the relationship between insulation and energy conservation and loss as part of their Year 9 science curriculum.

Six energy cubes were built with the help of the Ōtaki MenzShed. Each has a different cladding and students can place different insulation materials on the sides of the cubes to measure their thermal properties, using temperature gauges to measure heat loss in the cube. They also learn to graph results from their findings.

Cladding Materials

Each cube is made with a different exterior claddings, which students then test the heat properties of with and without fibreglass insulation.


Cement board


Gib board


Double glazed window

Single glazed window

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