In this activity, students will observe that a change in the temperature of air will determine its place in the atmosphere. Water, which behaves very similarly to air, is used in this demonstration. It flows in fluid currents in a visual manner in a see-through density tank.


  • Teacher preparation: 20 minutes
  • Introduction for students: 10 minutes
  • Student activity/demonstration: 15 minutes
  • Class discussion/analysis: 10 minutes


Student Learning Objectives

  • Students learn that air and water are both fluids
  • Students observe that hot and cold fluids have different densities depending on their temperature
  • Students create a model of a weather front in a visual manner, where two masses of air with different temperatures meet
  • Students learn that convection is the transfer of heat in a fluid such as air and water, by its movement or flow

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