If you haven't had the chance to be wowed by a fire tornado, then you're missing out on a great experience! And the truth is that it's not only cool to watch, but a great tool to teach kids and adults about the relationship between temperature and pressure. Helping them to understand the reality that even slight changes in those key variables in one part of the world can have tremendous consequences for another.
When presented in the context of the challenge it led to a discussion of how increases in global temperatures due to climate change will lead to more powerful storms. And the kids were actually charged with experimenting with the spinning apparatus to create the most powerful fire tornado possible by adding and removing a paper column which impacted the amount of cool air reaching the base of the fire and increasing the "chimney effect" as it warmed up and rose through the column...
I suspect they'll go home with a deeper appreciation for how a hurricane gains its strength, and the realities we face in a warming world. A worthwhile lesson for kids of all ages.
Via:: Live at Discovery's Young Scientist Challenge!