I’ve recently discovered that my kids LOVE science. Like, to the point of kinda being geeky. (This is not surprising; I’m convinced geekiness is genetic.)
Anyway. We started a new unit on winter this past week, which seemed appropriate since there’s about three feet of snow in my backyard. (Merry Christmas! Or something.) The logical place to start was snow; it’s a tangible thing, after all, and my kids can look outside and actually see it.
In science we covered states of matter. Snow is water, after all, but it doesn’t look like water, which makes it hard for my kids to believe it’s really made of the same stuff they drink and bathe in (or, in some cases, drink while bathing in).
Like any good geeky homeschooling mom, I set up a science experiment. Here’s what I did.
- Clear container (ie a Tupperware or Rubbermaid, a glass, or a bowl)
- Snow to fit in the container
- Camera (any camera; I used my phone)
- Scoop snow into the container so it’s about half full (it can be more or less, just as long as it’s easily observable)
- Show children the snow in the container
- Set container on a table so it’s easily seen
- Set timer for 10 minutes
- After the ten minutes are up, gather the children around the container and show them the snow in the container
- Take photo of the snow in the container
- Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 until the snow has completely melted
- Show the children the water in the container
- Compare the photos of the container
- Discuss the experiment and what happened with the snow
Questions I asked my kids after the snow had melted:
- What happened to the snow?
- Was there more snow than water in the container or less?
- Can you tell me what’s happening to the snow in the container in the photos?
Here are the “time-lapse” photos of our container of snow. It took about 80 minutes for the snow to melt. (Sorry, I thought I’d resized the photos to be the same size, but I was off by a bit with some of them.)
I’d imagine many of you have already done something similar, but if you haven’t, feel free to use my “experiment” for your own homeschool/classroom.