Convection Demonstration

Source Institution

  • Twin Cities Public Television

Source Collection

  • DragonflyTV
Add to List
Go to Activity


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

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

Informal Category

  • Transportation


  • 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

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


Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.

Source Collection


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

Funding sources

  • National Science Foundation, 610429



Login or register to post comments