Worksheet - How Does a Lava Lamp Work? (Heat Transfer and Convection)

Grade Levels
6th - 10th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
4 pages
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  1. SAVE OVER 25%!Bundle Overview:This unit bundle contains all resources needed for a typical middle school physics unit on thermal energy, heat, and temperature.The bundle contains a unit PPT and corresponding student summary notes, worksheets, lab activities, formative quizzes, review exercises, a PP
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A 4-page worksheet that teaches students how a lava lamp works through a 1-page reading and review page with fill in the blank questions as well as a diagram to label. This product involves scientific concepts such as conduction, convection and radiation, expansion and contraction, as well as changes in a liquid's density. This product features 2 differentiated review pages, which gives educators a choice for which review page best fit the needs of their own class.

Product Contents:

  • What is a lava lamp?
  • Composition of a typical lava lamp
  • Summary of the 3 types of heat transfer (conduction, convection, and thermal radiation)
  • Thermal expansion
  • Thermal contraction
  • What happens to the particles in the liquid at the bottom of a lava lamp
  • What happens to the particles in the liquid at the top of a lava lamp
  • Formation of convection currents

Product Pages:

Page 1 - Reading Page

  • Page 1 features a reading exercise that discusses what is inside a lava lamp, reviews the three main methods of heat transfer, and explains how the lava lamp uses thermal expansion, thermal contraction, and convection currents to work. This includes the following topics:

Page 2 - Student Review (Advanced)

  • Page 2 is an advanced review page that features a word bank, fill in the blanks section that summarizes thermal expansion and contraction, as well as a blank diagram of a lava lamp for students to write descriptive paragraphs to explain how a lava lamp works, step by step.

Page 3 - Student Review (Basic)

  • Page 3 is a basic review page that is similar to the advanced review page, but features are more structured diagram of a lava lamp, where students fill in the blanks rather than write their own descriptive paragraphs.

Downloadable in 2 Formats:

  • This worksheet comes in 2 formats: a static PDF document and fully-editable WORD document
  • Download the full PDF preview to see EXACTLY what you are getting!

Relevant CC Standard(s) and/or NGSS Core Idea(s) Addressed by This Product:


Physical Science – Energy – Definitions of Energy


Physical Science – Energy – Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

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Copyright © Douglas Enns. All rights reserved by author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this document are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.

Total Pages
4 pages
Answer Key
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample. Examples of experiments could include comparing final water temperatures after different masses of ice melted in the same volume of water with the same initial temperature, the temperature change of samples of different materials with the same mass as they cool or heat in the environment, or the same material with different masses when a specific amount of energy is added. Assessment does not include calculating the total amount of thermal energy transferred.


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