You will need: 

  • Four balloons 
  • Matches 
  • An adult 
  • Water 
  • A candle 


  1. Inflate two balloons with air.
  2. Inflate two other balloons with air and 100ml of water. 
  3. Light the candle. 
  4. Place the balloon with air over the flame. 
  5. Place the balloon with water over the flame. 
  6. Dry up the water and tidy away the experiment. 


The balloons inflated with air explode very quickly. The balloons inflated with air and water explode eventually but after a much longer period of time. The water conducts the heat from the candle and absorbs the heat energy. Once the water gets really hot, the balloon eventually explodes. 

Pancakes cooking on a frying pan are cooked by conduction. Steaming vegetables are cooked by convection.  Marshmallows over an open fire are cooked by radiation. 

Drumlease National School is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) school.