Activity - The Tea Kettle Test


Title: The Tea Kettle Test
Grade: 6th Grade
Duration: 30 Minutes

This experiment should only be conducted by an educator!


Science – SC.6.E.7.1.
Differentiate among radiation, conduction, and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through Earth’s system.


The student will be able to observe the three-way that heat travels.




  • Water
  • Tea Pot
  • Portable Burner


This experiment should only be conducted by an educator!

  • Fill ¾ of the tea kettle with water.
  • Wait for burner to heat up completely.
  • Place tea kettle on burner.
  • Watch/listen as the water begins to come to a boil inside.


A teakettle on a hot stove shows the three ways that heat travels.

  • RADIATION – Look at the steam coming from the water boiling in the teapot. The teapot’s steam is the transfer of energy with help from an electromagnetic wave.
  • CONVECTION – On the inside of the teapot a different form of heat is brewing. The hot water from the bottom of the tea kettle circulates by rising, cooling, and sinking, then heating up again. This movement of heat is actually a motion of matter.
  • CONDUCTION – The direct heat from the stove or Bunsen burner flows from the bottom through the metal bottom of the tea kettle causing another form of heat.