What’s one place you’d like to visit in your life? How would you travel there?
How could this device be useful?
Moving air makes the spinner move. Does that give you any ideas about how heat could make the spinner move?
Teachers: If you are short on time, this is a good stopping point. You can experiment with heat on another day.
If you’re continuing right now, advance to the next slide.
Check out this clip (1:20, Ultimate Restorations) to see how steam can make a train go. Then find out what it’s like to be the train’s engineer in this video (4:44, PSOV Mainline) about driving the Duke of Gloucester, a steam-powered locomotive in Great Britain.
If you want to go further, have students read this article to explore the history of the steam engine and its importance during the Industrial Revolution. A recording and quiz are included.
Then discuss: Imagine you’re living in the 1800s and can ride trains for the first time. How would you feel about traveling this new way? How do you think your life might change?
How does a hot-air balloon work? Watch this video (1:37), and then read the online book How Does It Fly: Hot Air Balloon to find out. Included in the book are a glossary, creative mini-projects, and questions that can spark class discussions. (Ages 7–9; Both free with registration as an educator on Get Epic!)
When you’re done, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the sport with this time-lapse video of a hot-air balloon festival in New Mexico. Watch for the bursts of flame that heat the air in each craft’s “envelope,” and see the sky fill with colorful, gigantic balloons. (2:42, NatGeo)
For the adventurous readers in your class, this selection of books offers ideas for exploring the steampunk world of science fiction. Students can delve into fantastical adventures that mix Victorian-age technologies and sensibilities with futuristic science, all driven by steam power. (Ages 8+)