Hi, have I told you I work for NGfL Cymru? Probably a thousand times 😉

In the video below I show a great animation on convection currents in a room heated by a radiator that you can find on our website here. However, I don’t just give a tour of the animation, but I show how you can use it to encourage your students to talk about Physics in a creative way. It is a role play where you introduce the animation as a talk show of the life of the “Particles” family, which is your class. Well, the rest is in the video and I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I believe this approach is an interesting way to develop Communication and Literacy skills in your pupils in a fun way!

As always, I really value your feedback, so spend 10 seconds to leave a comment, please!

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Bunce and Alessio Bernardelli, Alessio Bernardelli. Alessio Bernardelli said: Convection Talk Show!: http://wp.me/pCFrH-4o […]

  2. John Eaden says:

    An impressive resource on a topic that is hard to teach to pupils who find it difficult to visualise particle behaviour.
    And a nice way to find out about the NgfL Cymru resources. Had a quick look at a couple of other animations – will be back to try some in my classroom/lab too.
    Nice one alessio

    • Alessio Bernardelli says:

      Thanks! Really appreciate your positive comments. Hope you’ll find other NGfL Cymru resources useful, but keep looking, or even better subscribe to the website, as we are about to add quite a lot more in Science!

  3. Terry Horsman (IoP!) says:

    Hi Alessio,

    First time I’ve managed to look at some of your stuff – like this convection ‘movie-visualiser’…helps me more by having the graphic, as I teach ‘hot things (gas, liquid) rise because the particles get more energy & so move further away from each other, so volume occupied gets bigger but no. particles/mass stays same, so density (mass/vol) gets smaller, so the ‘cube’ has lower density & so rises…..etc. Could you say something llike “this cube of air (& show it in 3-d, as a cube) contains (say) 10 particles (show just 10, or 5, eg different cpolours so that kids can count/see constant number….then no particles (=mass) remains constatnt, but vol occupied by these 10 particles increases/decreases, so density decreases/increases, so ‘cube’ rises/falls….Sounds more complicated than your graphic could explain it, so….nice one! (as we know, so many kids think that as you heat things they expand, so the particles expand…


    • Alessio Bernardelli says:

      Thanks Terry,
      First of all I cannot take the credit for the animation, which was created by Dr Iestyn Jones from eChalk a few years ago. I think making a 3D cube would be a really nice addition, but my feeling is that it would have added too many variables to make it as smooth as it is. I agree it would look more realistic, but I think it still helps quite a bit in visualizing the concept, as you said! My part in this resource was just very recently (in fact today) to promote it again and give it a bit of a twist, which I hope will be of some use. My kids like doing that kind of thing (the talk show bit) and so I think others would.
      Will you be at the ASE Conference?

      • Terry Horsman (IoP!) says:

        OK, thanks for comments; agreed, most kids like some sort of ‘drama-based’ involvement in science – acting at being particles (eg in a solid metal rod as one end is heated…not literally, of course…well, may be a hair drier, but not a Bunsen..!).
        Yes, I’m at ASE – doing 2 sessions too; looks to be even busier than last year!



  4. Gary Williams says:

    Hi Alessio,

    Nice animation, but be careful with the words, it almost sounded like you said the particles were expanding at one point!
    I really like the talk show idea – absolutely excellent. I’ll use that first chance I get.

    • Alessio Bernardelli says:

      Thanks Gary,
      I know exactly what you mean and I agree! I didn’t mean that the particles expand, but the air does. I know it sounds different in the video, but I had only 5 min and it had to be taken all in one go, so where I wanted to say “… and the air expands…” I just said “expand”. It was the best take and time running out, so I decided to keep it! Hope it’s not too confusing!

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