My kids are always complaining about how they don’t get “snow days” because of home school. Well after weeks of waiting for it…it did indeed snow. I let them by with the school work and we did a few other fun things with the snow. First we spent time exploring it and playing in it. We made snow angels and got a little dirty. That was when I decided it would be fun to jump butt first off the porch. It was a sub-conscience decision. Luckily there was five steps to slow down my descent onto the ground below. I was sure to hit each one with my backside so they wouldn’t be jealous.
And then we dragged the snow inside so they could play some more and I could nurse my aching bruised pride. While they built snowmen, buried their toys, and soaked the floor. I soaked my pride in warm water and set up their experiment table.
We didn’t have quite enough snow to build a large snowman so they each built a little one while wearing the snowman gear.
First Experiment: What happens when snow melts. Will the volume remain the same or change? Why?
We filled a large tube with snow and let it melt. As with all experiments we discussed what would happen before hand and afterwards we discussed what really happened and how it compared to what we thought would happen. As we planned, the snow melted. The water took up about half the glass after it completely melted. When water freezes into a solid, it’s molecules spread apart making it less dense and it will take up more volume. As it melts it become more dense therefore still weighing the same but taking up less space.
Second Experiment: What happens when you put food coloring in snow?
This was more or less Lou’s idea. She wanted to see what would happen so we did it. It was actually pretty cool as the food coloring seeped through the ice and eventually colored the entire cup yellow. Yes, we made Yellow Snow.
Experiment three: Which salt will melt the snow faster?
We all know salt melts snow but will one salt work better than another? Yes, in fact there are salts designed specifically for the use of melting snow and ice. We didn’t have any of those to play with so we tested normal table salt and epsom salt to see which one would melt salt faster.
We filled two containers that were the same size with snow. At the same time the kids poured in the salt and we watch and waited and measured.
The winner was clearing the Iodized Salt. Why does salt melt ice? Salt lowers the freezing point of water and only works if the temperature is above the new freezing point. Meaning salt will have no effect if the temperature is still colder than the new lowered freezing point of the salt and water solution. It also depends on the salt you use and the chemicals in it. I found this helpful information on Chemisty.about.com.
Experiment four: Does Snow Float?
We already know that snow is denser than water which we learned earlier but will it float like an ice cub? It does float but not entirely out of the water. The tip sticks out a bit but the majority of the ice stayed underwater. Which is what makes icebergs so dangerous.
I hope you all have a wonderful time in the snow. We hope to enjoy it some more before it melts away to be gone probably till next year. Be safe and have fun!