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Hot Air Spinner

Hot Air Spinner
Messiness: Low
Age Range: 3y - 7y
Estimated Time: <30 mins

Activity Designer

Ryan Pilat
25 Projects
In this experiment, the light bulb is warming the air around it. Warm air is less dense than the colder air around it, so the cold air can push the warm air up, creating wind that spins our spiral!

How We Did It

Hot Air Spinner

Draw a big circle on the paper. Then draw a spiral inside--it should go about one and a half times around the circle. Then cut the spiral shape.

Hot Air Spinner

Tie or staple the thread in the center of the spiral. For this experiment, it's important to use light-weight thread like you'd use for sewing, not kitchen twine or ribbon. This is because the thread allows the spiral to spin freely. If you're tying the thread, it works well to poke a tiny hole in the paper with a pencil or an earring, and then anchor it with a big knot. Tie the other end of the thread to the pencil, and pick up the spiral; it should uncoil like a paper snake.

Hot Air Spinner

Let it hang freely and wait until the thread untwists and the spiral is still. With help from a grown-up assistant, move the spiral over a heat source such as a hot light bulb pointed up at the ceiling. Center the spiral right over the light bulb, and watch your spiral spin!




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