Feb 2, 2016

WonderWorks: Snow & Ice

When it's cold outside, do some winter science!

Today's Topic: Snow & Ice
large bowls
black construction paper (to catch and view snowflakes if they're falling)
measuring cups
cookie sheets filled with water and frozen into sheets of ice
Things that might slide across ice (metal drink lids, balls, marbles, toy cars, etc.)
Things that might not slide across ice (cotton balls, felt scraps, feathers, etc.)

  cover art The snowy day / Keats, Ezra Jack

The inspiration for this class (or "what I thought kids might do"): Hockey Science!

Since most of our sheets of ice were really rough (they'd been formed outside during a snowfall), AND since there was a fat layer of new snow outside (and more fell in the afternoon), I decided to add some snow science to my original ice science lesson plan.  Some of the ideas I had included:
--melt a cup of snow to see how much water it contains.
--What can you do to make snow melt faster?
--How tall can you build an indoor snowman on a cookie sheet?

What the kids actually did: 
make a hockey puck out of packed snow (it doesn't slide very well)

build a snowman that matches your shirt
 ask your mom to be the goal.
 discovered that if you leave objects on the ice, it melts around those objects.
 Used measuring cups to form snow molds.

 race some cars

 Add some weight to the cars
 Figure out which moves more quickly--a lid right-side-up or upside-down?
 Point out the differences between ice created in the freezer vs. left outside in the cold.
Pack a cup with ice, then try to melt it by rolling a wooden ball over the snow:

 Or ... just melt it by squeezing it in your fist.
 Smacking a snow-covered tree with a stick, just like in the book
 Putting together an ice puzzle
Eating the snow (of course)
 And wearing it like a hat.
Hindsight Tip:  bringing in big bowls of this snow was great fun and it didn't melt nearly as quickly as I thought it would (I threw out bowls of snow at the end of class that hadn't yet begun to melt). I'm glad that the weather cooperated so nicely.  The hockey science lesson by itself wouldn't have been sufficient.  MAYBE if I'd had enough frozen cookie sheets for each kid to have their own piece of ice? But maybe not.  "What slides on the ice" was not a compelling enough question for these kiddos.

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