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Idea Bank: Convection in a Fish Tank

The Science Teacher—January 2008

Understanding convection is fundamental for students to fully grasp the science behind large-scale events on Earth, such as global wind patterns, plate tectonic movement, ocean current patterns, and hydrothermal vent dynamics. Convection can also help students understand how car engines are cooled, how radiators heat a room, how a pot of water boils, and how lava lamp fluid moves up and down. Using a convection demonstration such as the one described here will captivate students’ interest while emphasizing the importance of convection.
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