The Mad Scientist: Ice, Ice, Baby

Today proved to be a particularly exciting day on the science front, at least in our neck of the woods. There is nothing quite like studying ice on a hot summer day!

Our mad science capers had us exploring all things ice. We talked about temperature (both Celsius and Fahrenheit) and how ice is affected by other elements.

Melting IceThe main focus of our day, was talking about the freezing and melting points of water. To help the children gain a firmer grasp on how ice melts, we prepped a few balloons with water last night and tucked them into the fridge.

This morning, we took our solid balls of ice out of the freezer and did some experiments. The first was to see how slowly ice of that size would melt on its own. The second was to lower the melting point by adding some salt. To help the children see this experiment a little better, we added a few drops of food coloring to the top of each ice ball and watched the salt “eat” through the layers.

The children liked watching the colors drop through the ice and how pretty they looked. I would like to think they also walked away with a better understanding and clearer picture of temperature.Mouse Bowling

For fun, we had frozen several additional ice balls to be played with. After our exciting experiments, we headed into the backyard for some ice bowling! We dug out plastic bowling pins and had a blast knocking them down. The kids had a great time, but had very cold fingers!

Ice bowling was so popular, there will definitely need to be a repeat!

Ice Balls(We did also make sure to spend a little while exploring through our microscope. Today was algae, cross sections of corn and earthworms, and daffodil stems. Lots of fun and very pretty!)

If you had to freeze water in the shape of a ball, which method do you think would work best?

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