Convective Heating
Properties of Matter

Convection Snake

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • A sheet of paper
  • Cotton thread
  • Scissors


  1. Cut a thick spiral shape in the piece of paper
  2. Make a hole in the centre and thread the cotton through it
  3. Hang the spiral above the radiator

Results and Explanation

The spiral should start to spin slowly. The radiator raises the temperature of the air around it, so the particles move more quickly and spread out. This means the air is less dense and rises upwards. The rising air pushes on the paper causing it to spin.

Convective Heating
is a special case of Heating

Have a Physics Teaching Question?

Want to ask it in a safe, friendly, knowledgeable environment? TalkPhysics is an online community for anyone involved in the teaching of pre-19 physics.

Visit TalkPhysics