Instruct Students about Weather with this Thunderstorm Convection Experiment

Illustrate how thunderstorms are formed and explain the concept of convection to children with water. Using kid-friendly and on-hand materials, this colorful and interactive science experiment will grab your students' attention.

1) Gather Materials

What you'll need:
  • 2 hues of washable paint or food coloring (Red and Blue recommended)
  • Ice cube tray
  • Small narrow-necked bottle
  • Storex Clear Cubby Bin or Storex Clear Storage Bin
A few hours or a day in advance, freeze blue-dyed water in an ice cube tray.

2) Setup Bin and "Atmosphere"

Place a clear bin on a flat work surface or table. Fill with room temperature tap water.

3) Add Ice Cube

Gently drop a blue-dyed ice cube at one end of the bin. Watch as the cold water flows downwards.

4) Add Hot Water

Place a small, narrow-necked bottle filled with red-dyed hot tap water at the opposite end. If using a microwave, make sure an adult supervises.

5) Observe and Learn!

Observe how the cold blue water quickly descends to the bottom of the bin while the hot red water floats on top. Watch as the water churns and swirls to learn about convection!

March 31, 2022 — Jonathan Kleist