Snow and Ice Science Projects

Snow and Ice Experiments and Projects

Explore snow and ice by making it, using it in projects, and examining its properties.

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child making a tiny snowman on a windowsill
Mark Makela / Contributor / Getty Images

The temperature does not need to get all the way down to freezing for snow to form! Plus, you don't have to rely on nature to produce snow. You can make snow yourself, using a technique similar to the one employed by ski resorts. More »

If it doesn't freeze where you live, you can always make fake snow. This type of snow is mostly water, held together by a non-toxic polymer. It only takes seconds to activate the 'snow' and then you can play with it pretty much like regular snow, except it won't melt. More »

You can use snow as an ingredient in ice cream or as a way to freeze your ice cream (not an ingredient). Either way, you get a tasty treat and can explore freezing point depression. More »

Explore the science of snowflake shapes by making a model snowflake crystal using borax. The borax doesn't melt, so you can use your crystal snowflake as a holiday decoration. There are other shapes of snowflakes besides the traditional six-sided form. See if you can model some of these other snowflakes! More »

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Snow Gauge

A rain gauge is a collection cup that tells you how much rain fell. Make a snow gauge to determine how much snow fell. How much snow does it take to equal an inch of rain? You can figure this out by melting a cup of snow to see how much liquid water is produced.

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Examine Snowflake Shapes

Snowflakes assume any of a number of shapes, depending on temperature and other conditions. Explore snowflake shapes by taking a sheet of black (or other dark color) construction paper outside when it is snowing. You can study the imprints left on the paper when each snowflake melts. You can examine snowflakes using magnifying glasses, small microscopes, or by photographing them using your cell phone and reviewing the images.

 Of course, you can't fill a snow globe with real snowflakes because they will melt as soon as the temperature gets above freezing! Here's a snow globe project that results in a globe of real crystals (safe benzoic acid) that won't melt when it gets warm. You can add figurines to make a lasting winter scene. More »

 Explore the chemicals used to melt ice and snow. Which melts snow and ice fastest: salt, sand, sugar? Try other products to see which is more effective. Which material is safest for the environment? More »

Make a colorful ice sculpture while learning about erosion and freezing point depression. This is a perfect project for young explorers, although older investigators will enjoy the bright colors, too! Ice, food coloring, and salt are the only materials needed. More »

Water is unusual in that you can chill it below its freezing point and it won't necessarily freeze into ice. This is called supercooling. You can make water transform into ice on command by disturbing it. Cause water to solidify into fanciful ice towers or simply make a bottle of water turn into a bottle of ice. More »

 Have you ever noticed how restaurants and bars often serve crystal clear ice, while the ice that comes from an ice cube tray or home freezer typically is cloudy? Clear ice depends on pure water and a particular rate of cooling. You can make clear ice cubes yourself. More »

 Ice spikes are tubes or spikes of ice that shoot out from the surface of a layer of ice. You may see these formed naturally in birdbaths or on puddles or lakes. You can make ice spikes yourself in a home freezer. More »