On this web page you will find:
- Several fun Snow experiments and projects (both outdoor in the snow, and indoor)
- Fun Facts About Snow
- Additional COOL (no pun intended) link
Experiments and Fun Activities:
Snow Blindness Goggles.
Snow reflects so much light that explorers and travelers in snowy regions many times found themselves blinded by the brightness. Make a pair of snow glasses by cutting a section of cardborad about six inches long and abouty three inches tall. Hold the cardboard up to your face and ask someone to help you by marking where your eyes are with tape or stickers. Cut narrow slits to see through across the tape marks and a "V" shape to fit over your nose. Punch a hole in each end and tie a long rubber band section to each hole. Tie the bands together to fit your head. Try going outside without the glasses and then putting them on. Can you see better with them? Do you still have to squint?
How strong is ice?
For this experiment you will need a plastic jug like milk or juice comes in. It must have a screw on lid. Fill the jug to the top with water and screw the cap on firmly. Now set the jug outside. The water will expand as it freezes and burst the side of the milk jug
How clean is snow?
Collect a few cups of snow. Put it in a saucepan and heat it to melt. Cover a bowl or jar with a layer of paper towels or porous cloth, held in place with tape or a rubber band. When the water is cool enough to pour safely, pour it slowly through the paper towel layers or white cloth. Examine the paper or cloth to see if any specks of dirt or sediment were in the snow. Find any? Still think snow is clean enough to eat?
Make ice castles.
Gather up some plastic bowls, cups, small tubs or basins, and plastic drink glasses, etc. Take these outside and fill them with water. (The temperature must drop below the freezing point of 32 degrees. ) Overnight, the containers will freeze and the next day you can warm the containers and tump the ice forms out. Make these iinto castles as you would play with sand on the beach. With water you can "glue" the shapes together. Adorn the tops with small icicles.
Colored snow lights.
Kids in Germany make these lights in the winter. You will need to fill three containers with water. Add food coloring to the water containers to make blue, green, and red water. Now make up a batch of snowballs, about ten for each color. Dip each in a colored water. Mound the colored snowballs in little mounds like igloos with one side left open. Place a small candle in the center of each snowball mound. Light will glow out through the colored snowballs and make lights along your sidewalk or garden path.
Feed and Give Water to the Birds and Squirrels. Don't forget the little critters.
Snow is not water. When everything is frozen they have no water supply. You can fill a plastic container, some sort of lid or pan. An aluminum pan. Upside down plastic sled, etc. (Only fill an inch or two. Do NOT make it deep. Dump it each day and fill. Keep in a sunny location.)
For food, you can toss it ontop of a board. Tossing it on the snow will cause it to sink and become covered. If you do not have a bird feeder, consider it as a project. You can, also, toss a board and put the food on top of it. It's good for those birds that can't eat from a bird feeder, too. Bread read does not do as a good source of food. White bread has no nutritional properties, and is the primary cause of calcium deficiency and death in birds (treat is fine, but a diet of it is not. Bread is okay as a treat, but please use seeds. If it's all you have, right now, fine. But when you can, get some bird food. Unfortunately, there are sites like about.com, which provide erroneous information on feeding table scraps to birds. Research first! http://wild-birds.suite101.com/article.cfm/choosing_birdseed_for_wild_bird_feeding
Fill the glass up with snow. Place the thermometer in the glass filled with snow and take the temperature.Write down the temperature on a piece of paper. Bring the glass inside and wait until for about 5 minutes until the snow melts. Now, take the temperature again. What happened?
Examining Snow Flakes.
Place the black paper or fabric in the freezer for a couple hours. Take the black paper or fabric out of the freezer and put it outside when its snowing. Let some snowflakes land on the paper or fabric. Use the magnifying glass to see the beautiful shapes.
Fill the container with fresh snow and use the ruler to measure how much snow you have. Bring the container inside and let the snow melt. Now, measure how much water is in the container.
Don't be too flaky.
FACTS: Snowflakes are formed by the freezing of water vapor in the air. Layers of snowflakes on a surface, such as the ground, are simply called snow. Snow is mostly a combination of snowflakes and air. The amount of air that snow contains affects its volume (the amount of space it takes up). When snow melts, the trapped air is released. Thus, the volume of snow is greater than the volume of the liquid water it forms when melted. Not all snow is the same, and snow is not the only form of frozen water. Ice, sleet, and hail are also mostly a combination of frozen water and air. EXPERIMENT: Fill a measuring cup with snow. Do NOT pack the snow. Write down on a piece of paper that you filled the cup with 8 oz. of snow. (or use metric system for more precision). Let the snow melt. Measure and write down the results. Now stick the cup in the freezer. Let it freeze. Now measure the results. What have you found out?
On a snowy day, take a piece of black construction paper and catch snowflakes on it. Use a magnifying glass to observe the individual snowflakes. Ask the children to describe the differences between each snowflake.
To make a mixture that has the same texture as snow, mix crushed ice in a blender until it has the consistency of real snow (Henry and Moore There is also instant snow powder that can be purchased. Once it is mixed with water, it looks like snow and has the same texture.
Ice and Salt.
The freezing point of water is lowered when it is mixed with salt. This is why it is used on roadways and sidewalks in the winter to prevent (or melt) ice. There are many experiments kids can do to observe this principle. In this experiment, the children will race two ice cubes to see which will become a pool of water first. You will need two containers or trays. Place an ice cube in each container. Make sure the ice cubes are identical in size. Have a child sprinkle salt onto one of the ice cubes. The cube with the salt will begin to melt more quickly than the unsalted ice. The salty cube is the winner! For an opposite result, have a freeze race. Two cups of water and two empty ice trays will be needed. Pour one of the cups of water into one of the empty trays. Add salt to the other cup of water and mix well. Pour the salty water into the second tray. Use a Popsicle stick or toothpick to mark which tray has salt. Place both trays into the freezer at the same time. Observe periodically to discover which tray of water freezes first. This time the plain water will be the winner!
Fun Snow Facts:
The Qualities of the Snow
Snow is very versatile material. Sometimes it can be very hard, but it can also be very gently material. Temperature has a great effect on the properties of the snow. When temperature is over 0 celsius degrees snow is very wet and heavy, but it has excellent adhesion force. Figure presents the value of internal adhesion force of snow in various temperatures. As we can see, snow is easiest to handle, when temperature is a little bit over 0 degrees.
When temperature is below zero degrees, snow is very light and fine material. All moisture has frozen and snow is almost lighter than air. Snow is also very dry now and it's impossible to form any constructions out of snow with traditional methods.
Freshly fallen snow is maybe the finest material in the world, but it easily turns to hard and thick material. When directing pressure to snow, it becomes excellent building material. Compressed snow can be compared to light concrete and ice to concrete.
Snow has firmness qualities when it's density is over 400kg/m3. Snow is still weaker than ice, but snow has better workability and it insulates heat better.
Some cool links:
National Snow and Ice Data Center: Why snow is white? Why can it be so diffcult to forecaste snow? What is the difference between a blizzard and a squall? What is graupel? Also, check the snow Gallery for some historic photos of blizzards and snow from the National Weather Service. http://nsidc.org/snow/index.html --- Fun Snow Facts: http://nsidc.org/snow/facts.html
In Praise of Snow. In-depth article on snow. "Recommended for High School +" (not APPLE's recommendation. YOU decide!) http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/snow/snow.htm
Build a Snow Castle: http://www.niksula.cs.hut.fi/~mnikkane/linnat/castles1.html
Famous Snow Structures: http://www.niksula.cs.hut.fi/~mnikkane/linnat/famous.html
Snow Sculpting: http://www.niksula.cs.hut.fi/~mnikkane/ukko/art.html
Grow your own Snow Crystals: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/project/project.htm
Grow Borax Snowflake Crystals: http://www.applenetwork.us/snow/boraxcrystals.html