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 Convection Activities

 

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LESSON PLANS created BY:

Ken Kakasuleff
Frankton Elementary School
405 Sigler Street
Frankton, IN 46044
E-mail: kaky@iquest.net

 

Subject Area: PHYSICAL SCIENCE

 

Grade Level: 4-6

 

National Standards

  • CONTENT STANDARD B: As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of
    • Properties and changes of properties in matter
      • A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the sample. A mixture of substances often can be separated into the original substances using one or more of the characteristic properties.
    • Motions and forces
    • Transfer of energy
      • Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
Objectives
  • To demonstrate that heated air expands
  • To demonstrate that warm air rises because it it less dense
Estimated Time
  • 2 - 3 class periods
Outcomes
  • Students should demonstrate an understanding of the density of air as related to temperature
  • Students should be able to demonstrate the lifting force of heated air
Resources
  • Internet connection
  • Various materials as listed in each activity
Assessment
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles listed in the outcomes in a written exercise
 

Key Questions

1. What happens when air is heated or cooled?
2. How does the temperature of air affect air density?

Heating of the earth, which in turn heats the atmosphere, is responsible for the motions and movements of the air in the atmosphere. The faster molecules move, the hotter the air. As the molecules heat and move faster, they are moving apart. So air, like most other substances, expands when heated and contracts when cooled. Because there is more space between the molecules, the air is less dense than the surrounding matter and the hot air floats upward. This is the concept used in the hot air balloons. The air is heated by the burner and the expanding air becomes less dense, causing the balloon to rise through the denser, cooler surrounding air.


Teacher directed activities

Whirly-gig

Mysterious coin

Inflating balloon

Floating bag



Related Pages:
Aeronautics Activities
Aerospace Activities Page
Atmosphere Simulator
Atmosphere Model
Air Density
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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