Snow Science The Rate Of Snow Melt


HOW FAST DOES SNOW MELT?

For this experiment our second and fourth graders measured the rate of snow melting in jars, inside our house that was 67 degrees fahrenheit.

Have the children make a hypothesis about how fast snow melts inside your house, how fast it melts if it has salt mixed in, how fast it melts with water mixed in. 

Conduct an experiment to test their theory/hypothesis.

You will need three clean quart jars.
Snow.
Measuring Cup.
Tablespoon.
Sea Salt.
Thermomotor.
Measuring Stick.
Watch to keep time.
Towel.
Pencil and paper to record your observations.  I made a printout for this experiment for the children to fill in.



Collect your snow and bring it inside.



It also helps to have some great assistants!



Fill your jars with snow.



Mark or label your jars with numbers 1, 2, and 3.

Measure the height of the snow in each jar.  Be sure they are identical to start your experiment.



Record your measurements.

Take the temperature of each jar of snow. 

Record your measurements.

Now you are ready to add the other ingredients.

Into jar 1, add 3 tablespoons of salt.
Into jar 2 add 1/4 cup water.
Put nothing into jar 3, as it is your control.



Continue to take measurements every 30 minutes for the next four hours.  Some surprising temperature readings were 7 and 3 degrees below zero.  I did not expect the snow to be that cold.   (Ok, the waiting part is boring to wait for the clock to change over each time.  Perhaps a game of checkers will distract the mind from the torture.)



Each time you will remeasure the height of the snow, the height of the water or melted snow rising in the bottom of your jars, and take the snow’s temperature for each jar.  Record the time of each measurement.



Finally write out your observations and conclusion to your experiment.



We found the snow with the salt melted the fastest.  The snow in the control melted the next fastest.  But the snow that had the water added melted the slowest.  The water seemed to keep the temperature colder and slightly protected the snow from melting as quick as the other jars.

There was still a small bit, maybe a teaspoon, of ice in the cold water in each jar the following morning.   The cold water continued to help insulate it and keep it from melting completely for several hours.



This post will be linked up at

Science Sunday

Elementary Roundup




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This entry was posted in Fourth Grade, Homeschool, Nature, Science, Second Grade, Winter on by .

About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business www.weisernaturalfoods.com I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

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