facebook Warm Air Rises DIY | Generation Genius
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Air Masses & Weather Fronts Activity for Kids

Warm Air Rises DIY

  • Duration: 15-30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $5

Learn how to demonstrate that warm air rises above cooler air!

Material List

  • 1Paper Plate
  • 1Pencil
  • 1Pair of Scissors
  • 1Roll of string
  • 1Hot plate
  • Adult supervision


  • 1Draw a spiral on the plate with your pencil.
  • 2With your scissors, cut along the pencil line to make a spiral.
  • 3Poke a hole in the center of the spiral with your pencil and tie a piece of string to it.
  • 4With adult supervision, turn on the hot plate and let it warm up. The hotter it gets, the better it will work.
  • 5Hold your spiral by the string and slowly move it over the hot plate. You will see it start spinning!

How It Works

The paper plate spins because the hot plate is heating the air, which makes it less dense. Air that is less dense rises up and spins the plate. In the real world, warm air on Earth rises too, but it’s heated by energy from the Sun. The uneven heating of the Earth leads to the formation of different air masses, which can move and interact to form weather fronts.

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