We rarely get REALLY cold weather, and typically if the weather is going to reach freezing, then it only hovers there for an hour or two before rebounding up to the normal temperatures. So, last year when we had frigid temps and an ice storm, we took advantage of it with freezing weather science experiments.
A great way to observe the changes heat causes on ice is the melt it. We placed differently-sized containers outside and filled them with same amount of water, leaving the containers outside overnight.
The next day, we removed the ice from the containers and watched to see how long it took each shape to melt, guessing whether or not the shape would change the rate at which the ice melted.
We also filled a few balloons with water. One balloon was placed in the middle of two styrofoam bowls to insulate the balloon. Each of the other balloons had varying amounts of water inside, and the children made prediction on which of the balloons would freeze solid.
Surprisingly, the smaller the balloon was, the less it froze. Really! We were shocked and the only thing we could guess was that by the latex not being stretched, the water was insulated.
Finally, we checked to see if water really froze at 32 degrees fahrenheit. The children charted the air temperature and the temperature of the water in our container. We were kind of bummed that the water actually froze while we were sleeping.
Despite not being able to witness the freezing of the ice, we had marked the container and could see how ice expands when it freezes.
Then, we monitored the air temperature and water temperature as the ice thawed.
While freezing weather might not feel great, the science experiments are really fun and educational.
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