Where Does Energy Go?

Thermal Convection
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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand that hot air rises
  2. Students will understand why hot water and hot air rise and cold air and cold water sink.
  3. Students will learn that wind is produced by warm air rising and cold air sinking.
  4. Students will learn that the energy of moving hot air can be converted into other forms of energy.
  5. Students will understand that energy from the sun can be converted into heat.
  6. Students will discuss the effects of the chimney stack phenomenon.
Lesson Number:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours

This lesson consists of six demonstration activities that show examples of ways in which water and air absorb heat to transfer energy from one place to another. These demonstration activities act as unique phenomena in which students can generate questions to lead subsequent investigations with each activity in learning centers.  Through gaining content from investigations with these phenomena, students will gain insight into how energy conversions work in a solar updraft tower.

Other Material(s) Used:
pencils, paper, scissors, 4 glass bottles or jars, food coloring, water, a solar bag, a norwegian candle spinner, a lamp w/o shade, needle and string, radiometer