Convection Conduction Radiation

Convection, Conduction, Radiation MatchCard

The Convection, Conduction, Radiation MatchCard explores the three types of heat transfer with cool science experiments and review activities.

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convection, conduction, and radiation worksheet

Light & Energy Unit Study

What Is On the MatchCard?

Objective: Describe three types of heat transfer: convection, conduction, and radiation.

Convection = Rising of hot molecules and falling of cooler molecules in a liquid or gas
Conduction = Heating molecules of solid objects in contact with a warmer object
Radiation = Movement of infra red waves through empty space

Print the Convection, Conduction, and Radiation MatchCard

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This is MatchCard #7 of the Light and Energy Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.

Experiment with the 3 Types of Heat Transfer

Here is a simple hands-on demonstration to introduce the three types of heat transfer. The use of a stove requires adult supervision.

Show the Convection, Conduction, Radiation MatchCard. Discuss the diagram of the camp fire, and compare the three types of heat transfer to their experience with the pan on the stove.


This hands-on demonstration will provide more experience with convection.

Discuss that convection is caused by movement of molecules through liquid or gas.
Match the Information Pieces on the Convection Conduction Radiation MatchCard with diagram for convection.


Use different instruments in hot water to see which conduct heat. Here are some items to consider:

Discuss that conduction is the transfer of heat to adjacent molecules in a solid.
Match the Information Pieces on the Convection Conduction Radiation MatchCard with diagram for conduction.


Look for different objects in your house that radiate heat. (heater, toaster, light bulb)
How far from the object can you feel the radiated heat?

Humans give off infra-red radiation. That is why a roomful of people is warmer than a room with few or no people in it.

Discuss that radiation comes from infra-red waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation that has shorter waves than visible light.

More Info on Infra-Red

You have probably heard of infra-red radiation, but do you know what it is?

Infra red is one of many sizes of energy waves that comes from electromagnetic radiation. The sun is the source of most radiation, but you produce a little of it yourself.

Let’s look at the word “infra” which means “less” than red. Since red is the smallest visible light wave, infra red waves are invisible to the human eye. You can click here to learn more about electromagnetic radiation.

The Hunt

Create a list of examples of transfer of heat that the student encounters in daily life.

Identify which of the three types of heat transfer occurs in each.

Encourage the use of the terms "convection," "conduction," and "radiation" as part of daily vocabulary.

Cooking Over A Fire Ring

Students are not likely to object to putting their new knowledge to use as the MatchCard suggests: over a camp fire.

You can go all out with a camping trip that includes cooking over a fire three times a day.

Or perhaps a back yard bbq roasting marshmallows fits your schedule a little better this week. Either way, encourage them to experience how the heat from the fire is transferred to the environment.

MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards


MatchCards make science concepts and corresponding vocabulary interactive. As students move the information pieces on the MatchCards they review the material they have already learned.

Download the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide and see how MatchCards can make building their science knowledge base fun.

Light and Energy Unit Study

Light & Energy Unit Study Cover

Kids will be energized to learn more about how the world works as they learn about light, magnetic energy, heat energy, electrical energy, thermal energy, kinetic energy and more. .

Download the entire Light and Energy unit study.

12 Science Unit Studies

MatchCard Science Cover

Chemistry is only one of twelve complete unit studies for kids in 3rd to 8th grade.

Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. See all twelve MatchCard Science Unit Studies.

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