Fargo is FREEZING right now, so in honor of the arrival of sub-zero temperatures, we are going to have some fun with ice!
Build your own ice!
When a substance crystallizes, atoms become tightly packed together and move from a liquid or gas to a solid state. Water crystallizes when it turns into ice. In this experiment, you will see that process happen almost instantaneously!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Unopened bottled water
Check out this video for a visual example of what we are doing:
- Put your unopened water bottles in the freezer. Lay them down horizontally so they are laying on their sides.
- Check your water bottles in 90 minutes to make sure they aren’t frozen.
- Check back every 15 minutes until you can see tiny ice crystals floating around. It usually takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
- When you can see ice crystals floating, CAREFULLY remove your water bottles. If you hit the side of the bottle, you may start the crystallization process and your bottle will instantly freeze before your eyes! Although it’s kind of cool to watch, that would put a hold on your activity!
- Put an ice cube in a shallow bowl.
- Open your ice-cold water bottle and pour it over your ice cube. Boom! Instant ice! As you pour the water onto the ice, you will see the water instantly crystallize into ice. It appears that the ice cube is growing taller as you pour. See how tall you can build your ice tower!
Now that you’ve created ice, let’s melt it down! We’ve learned about how salt melts ice in previous science activities, such as when we fished for ice cubes and created our own slushies! Check it out here if you missed it: http://discoveryexpress.weebly.com/blog/how-does-salt-affect-ice
Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water and the melting temperature of ice. Water normally freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but when salt is added to water, it has to be even colder than that to freeze. In the same way, when salt is added to ice, the ice can melt at colder temperatures than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why it works to sprinkle ice on the roads in the winter! Read this link if you want to learn more about how salt affects ice: http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/road-salt.htm.
We are using that same concept today to melt ice, but let’s make it into a fun art project! Grab your camera before you start so you can take some cool pictures of your colored ice at the end.
Melting ice (in style)
- Bowls or containers
- A large baking pan or tray
- Food coloring
- Turkey baster, large spoon, or eye dropper
Here’s what to do!
- Pick a few different sizes of containers. You will use these to make your ice. It’s fun to vary your sizes and depths, so pick a variety.
- Pour water in the containers and place them in the freezer where they won’t be disturbed. Let them freeze overnight.
- Remove the containers from the freezer and run a little warm water over the bases to loosen the ice.
- Dump the ice onto the baking pan or tray. This will keep your work area clean!
- Now we can really start! Predict: What will happen when salt touches the ice?
- Sprinkle salt onto the ice. Make sure not to dump too much! Look closely at the areas of the ice where the salt landed. What happens to the ice?
- You should have noticed that the areas of ice where the salt landed began to melt! If you missed it, sprinkle a little more salt to watch the ice melt. You will notice crevices starting to form.
- Here’s the fun part! Grab your jars and fill them half full with water. Add food coloring to each jar. Use whichever colors you would like!
- Use the turkey baster or dropper to suck in your color and squirt it onto the ice. The color will really highlight the areas that melted. Pay attention to how the salt continues to melt the ice as you work.
- Continue to have fun coloring your ice projects and remember to take pictures before they melt away!
- To see the areas where your ice is melting even better, take the colored ice outside to look at it in the sunlight!
For more fun winter science, check out our snow blog from last year: http://discoveryexpress.weebly.com/blog/winter-is-here-to-stay-make-winter-fun-and-informative-with-a-daily-snow-log