Project Description

Heat & Energy

Explore the properties of heat and other energies in a fun way. Produce useful heat energy in a multitude of ways, including through friction, motion, electrically and chemically. Transfer heat through conduction, measure it and explore the amazing ways in which heat can generate change.

  • Level: Suitable for Level 3 to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

Learning Outcomes

  • What is energy and why is it important? What are the different forms of energy?

  • The difference between potential energy (energy that is stored) and kinetic energy (the energy of movement).

  • Heat is a form of energy. As materials get hotter, the particles that they are made of move faster.

  • Heat causes solids to melt (the particles separating and moving past each other) and liquids to evaporate (the particles breaking free from each other and moving apart).

  • Temperature is a measurement of the average amount of heat energy of the particles in a material.

  • Heat can be transferred directly from one material to another – this is called conduction.

  • Heat can move through liquids and gases by convection. ‘Convection currents’ occur as the particles in the liquid or gas move from a cooler spot to a warmer one.

  • Heat travels through space as radiation. Darker substance absorb more heat radiation, lighter substances reflect it.

  • Some chemical reactions release heat energy. Some chemical reactions require heat energy (the heat is absorbed by the chemicals from the surroundings).

  • A combustion reaction releases a lot of heat energy. A combustion reaction requires oxygen, fuel and an initial source of heat.


  • Observe a demonstration of the transformation of solar energy into electrical energy and then kinetic energy.

  • Students build various electrical circuits and observe the energy transformations taking place.

  • Observe a demonstration of the affect of heat on the state of matter.

  • Students use a thermometer to measure temperature, and compare the movement of particles in hot and cold water.

  • Observe the demonstrations of heat conduction and radiation.

  • Demonstration of a tea bag rocket as an example of convection.

  • Students conduct an endothermic chemical reaction and feel the changes in heat.

  • Observe a fiery exothermic combustion reaction.

90 minute workshops also include these activities:

  • Students observe the effect of temperature on density.

  • A second memorable exothermic combustion reaction.

Victorian Curriculum Links

  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (VCSSU059)

  • Solids, liquids and gases behave in different ways and have observable properties that help to classify them (VCSSU076)

  • Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another; a change in the temperature of an object is related to the gain or loss of heat by the object (VCSSU063)

  • Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity; electric circuits enable this energy to be transferred to another place and then to be transformed into another form of energy (VCSSU081)

  • Use formal measurements in the collection and recording of observations (VCSIS068)

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies (VCSIS067)

NSW Curriculum Links

  • Explains the effect of heat on the properties and behaviour of materials (ST3-6MW-S)

  • Describes how digital systems represent and transmit data (ST2-11DI-T)

  • Plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions (ST3-1WS-S)

Australian Curriculum Links

  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)

  • Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways (ACSSU077)

  • Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049)

  • Electrical energy can be transferred and transformed in electrical circuits and can be generated from a range of sources (ACSSU097)

  • Consider the elements of fair tests and use formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate, to make and record observations accurately (ACSIS055)

  • With guidance, plan and conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions, considering the safe use of appropriate materials and equipment (ACSIS054)




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Anneliese engaged the students really well. They were thrilled to be able to take home snow and the UV bead keyring.

Kangaloon Public School Wicked Weather March 22, 2021

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Lisa from Mad About Science is absolutely brilliant (so is the whole team really!). She was amazing with the kids, great with our kids with additional needs and just ran the experiments in a wonderfully fun and interactive way. I couldn’t recommend Mad About Science highly enough.

Etelka Ronc Birthday Party March 20, 2021

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Dale was fantastic! The students were so engaged and loved the range of activities he did with them. Thank you for an excellent, informative and fun day!

Living Faith Primary School Natural Disasters January 21, 2021