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Convection Demonstration

Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Convection Demonstration

In this quick activity (located on page 2 of the PDF), learners will see the effects of convection and understand what makes hot air balloons rise. Learners will fill a bottle with hot water colored red and another bottle with cold water colored blue, then lower both into a container of water and observe the interaction of liquids of different temperatures/densities. Relates to the linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Balloon Fiesta.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a clear tank or large pitcher
  • 2 small glass bottles with narrow mouths
  • string and scissors
  • tap water, hot water, ice water, and ice
  • red and blue food coloring


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Technology
      • Transportation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations

Informal Categories

  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • DragonflyTV


  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2007

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 610429