Reflection: Coherence Heat Transfer - Convection Part 1 - Section 2: Engage


While this model is fun and kids really love it, it is imperfect as most models are. I am careful to curb student over-generalization from the tank demo. I am using it here illustrate heat transfer and later will use it to talk about air masses and fronts, but as the tank contains the fluid and the dynamics are more chaotic in the atmosphere) or oceans or Earth's mantle. I have had students explain their understanding of convection cells that end with clear horizontal layering as is seen in the demo tank. This does not account for uneven heating from Earth surface, upwelling, etc. 

My thinking here is to be aware of unintentionally fostering misconceptions that may plague student thinking down the road. 

  Imperfect Models
  Coherence: Imperfect Models
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Heat Transfer - Convection Part 1

Unit 1: Heat Transfer and Interactions of Matter
Lesson 8 of 11

Objective: SWBAT use a variety of models to explain transfer by means of convection currents.

Big Idea: This series of mini labs helps to introduce students to the complexity of convection.

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