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Modeling Convection Currents (Developed by SEPUP)

kit #436S

Small groups of students use unique LAB-AIDS®/SEPUP materials to investigate convection currents in water. They use their experiences to develop an operational understanding of the relationship between water temperature and its movement. This knowledge is then applied to geology as students analyze data about the earth’s layers and convection currents in the lithosphere. The hands-on experience with convection in water coupled with the knowledge of earth's interior is combined to explain the motion of the earth's tectonic plates.


  • The continents are part of large lithospheric plates that have moved over geological time and continue to move at a rate of centimeters per year. One theory is that convection currents within the earth's mantle drive this plate motion
  • The earth is made up of different layers (crust, mantle, outer core, inner core). Each of these layers has distinct properties
  • Heat moves in predictable ways
  • Models are one way to understand and communicate scientific information

Content List in Modeling Convection Currents (Developed by SEPUP) is as follows:

Quantity Description
1 Teacher’s Manual with MSDS
28 Student Worksheets and Guides
12 Plastic cups, 9-oz
6 Plastic syringes, 20-cc
6 Plastic cups with circular depression, LAB-AIDS®
6 Vials with 2-holed cap, Small
6 Red food coloring, l5-mL bottles of
1 Transparency: Layers of the Earth
Number of Students
Number of groups
Maximum 6 groups per period

To complete this kit requires one to two ~50-minute class periods.

Title Item # Price Quantity
Modeling Convection Currents (Developed by SEPUP) 436S $91.90
ADD A GROUP for Modeling Convection Currents 436SEL $9.35