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Winter Science Activity

Dec 1, 2016 12:00 AM

Click here to see the video. 

What you need:

  • Water
  • Freezer-safe bowl (metal or plastic)
  • Freezer
  • Food coloring
  • Salt
  • Tray


What you do:

  1. Fill a freezer-safe plastic or metal bowl with water and place it in the freezer. Remove the bowl from the freezer once the water has turned into ice.
  2. Remove the frozen dome of ice from the bowl and place it flat-side-down on the tray.
  3. Sprinkle salt onto the dome and wait about three to five minutes.
  4. Drive food coloring onto the ice and watch as the tunnels appear before you eyes!

What is going on:

The freezing point of water is 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F, but salt can make it even lower. This allows salt water to remain in a liquid state at a temperature colder than regular freshwater could. This in an example of something called "freezing point depression." Sprinkling salt on the ice dome slowly melts the ice, creating tiny tunnels. The food coloring sinks into these tunnels allowing you to see them.


Now try this:

Try using different kinds of salt such as kosher salt or rock salt. What happens when you dump the salt instead of simply sprinkling it? Can you create patterns with the salt?

Click here to download a printable version.



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