In this activity, students take a closer look at a candle flame as an example of a flame that occurs in most natural fires and observe and investigate the flame and the process of burning.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- appreciate the importance of observation (seeing and describing, not just looking) for scientists.
- identify the components of a diffusion flame (in a candle)
- develop ideas about the combustion process – the candle wax is melting, becoming a liquid, then the liquid vaporises into a volatile gas, which ignites when at ignition temperature.
- understand that the white smoke contains these volatile gases
- understand that black smoke contains unburnt particles – soot
- understand that fire needs oxygenheat and fuel – depriving a fire from oxygen causes extinguishment.
Download the Word file (see link above) for:
- introduction/background notes
- what you need
- what to do.
Nature of Science
Scientists observe phenomena very closely and carefully – seeing and describing everything – to help them understand what is happening.