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Name: William H
Status: Teacher
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Question:
We are kindergarten teachers trying to construct a weather unit. We would like to do some activities with our students about the science idea of convection. Could you please help provide us with some practical applications of the science idea of convection?



Replies:
Well, the lava lamps popular in the 60s and recently popping up here and there are a simple way to demonstrate convection in action, if you can find one. The liquid at the bottom is heated and rises, displacing liquid which sinks down the sides. Birds of Prey use convection currents to get a free ride, as do glider planes. Boiling water gets convection bubbles in it.

An oven will convect hot air through its vent which can be felt with the hand. In fact ovens use convection to heat all the air contained in the oven. The heat source is located at the bottom and warms the air which then moves around the oven. A chimney is based on convection. The fire heats the air which pulls the smoke out the chimney as it rises. If you light a fire without opening the damper you prevent the rising hot air from going up the chimney and it pushes out into the room, setting off your smoke alarm!

Mark Fernau



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