Lesson plan

Heat Convection

Visualize heat convection, then make a device that turns with the convection heat from a small candle.
Science content
Physics: Heat (3)

Demonstrate that heat moves upwards in a fluid such as water with the Heat convection demonstration.
Use heat convection to make a candle pinwheel that gracefully turns with the heat from a candle.

If time, demonstrate that the candle needs air to burn by putting jars over it - see candle combustion

Convection determines the Earth's climates and the living things that inhabit it:
1. Convection currents in the sun bring heat to the sun's surface (which is radiated through space to Earth):https://www.nasa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/655928main_solar-anatom…
2. Convection inside the Earth happens in the mantle below the tectonic plates. The convection currents drive the movement of the tectonic plates, forming mountains and volcanoes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantle_convection#/media/File:Oceanic_spr…
3. Ocean convection currents move heat around the Earth. Along with the intensity of the sun’s rays, the warmth carried by ocean water gives rise to Biomes, each with their own climate and living things adapted to that climate. https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/10841
4. Atmospheric convection currents, caused by the sun’s rays heating the Earth, which heats the air above it, gives rise to winds and weather systems: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-six-major-air-cells-of-the-Eart…

Grades taught
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4