Two Colorful Convection Labs

The Ocean Currents Lab
Shown here is a lab that I use to help my students understand ocean currents. To view a short video of this demonstration CLICK HERE.

1. The day before the lab I explain currents and their causes.
2. On the day of the lab I do the Salinity-Density Demo and then the students do the ocean currents lab.
3. The day after the lab we go over the follow-up questions and then I use the El Nino Demo to introduce them to this phenomenon.

The Wind Lab
Shown below is a lab-activity that helps students understand how winds develop. The lab is written in such a way that they will learn about the relationship between uneven heating, convection, pressure differences, and wind. To view a short video of this demonstration CLICK HERE.

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1. In the days before the lab I try to help my students understand "atmospheric pressure". Among other things, I have the students do a can-crush activity and I show them the last several minutes of the movie, "Total Recall."
2. The students do the lab which can be completed in one 50 minute period. The follow-up questions may have to be finished as homework.
3. In the days following the lab, I teach the students about the global pattern of winds as well as local and regional winds.

Where to get these two labs
The two labs along with the materials and student handouts are included in a kit available through any from the WARDs Natural Science Establishment (search: Exploring Convection). It is called "Exploring Convection Currents.


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