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An Ice Experiment

Finally, we got some snow here in New York!  We saw pictures of our family playing in snow in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA but we had yet to put on our snow pants and boots that had been waiting by the front door for weeks.  The boys were thrilled to be outside in the white stuff, even if it was only a dusting.

The time outside proved to be more meaningful then I had originally expected.  After finding icicles on Grandma’s car and a big pool of ice in the bed of our Tonka dump truck…

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…my Oldest and I were inspired to revisit an interest that developed around this time last year.  As his class had embarked on an ice project, we continued the study at home in a number of ways.  One of our favorites was doing an Ice Experiment.  This is how is went this time around…

We chose some random items and put them into a muffin tin.  The boys got their own empty ice tray and filled each cube with the different items.  It was interesting to watch as they started off slow putting one or two pieces in each cube and then became more comfortable and creative as they started to combine things like rocks and blueberries into the same cube.  At this part of the activity we are also able to compare which items float and which items sink, we made a number of hypotheses, observations and comparisons.

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Next, we filled the trays with water and slipped them into the freezer.

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Overnight our treasures solidified and after returning home from school we got the them out for exploration.

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Wow, it was so exciting to see how they looked in this different state.  The boys touched them and remembered putting the items into the cubes but were most excited to free them from the tray.

So, we dumped the ice cubes out and were able to look closely at each cube.

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There were unique observations made about each individual cube.

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Some of the materials that only sunk at first had separated during the freezing process.

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We also discovered that when frozen blueberries start to defrost you can lick them to get some “blueberry juice.”

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Finally, I suggested we sort them by items that sunk and items that floated.  My Oldest picked one up that had a little of both and said “I’m going to put this in the middle.”  Good idea!  Then we counted and discovered that we had the most cubes with items that sunk.

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Playing with the cubes continued and we observed as the ice melted, making more and more water as well as trying to scrape and pull out the items that had been frozen in place.

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A fun experiment even though our hands were awfully cold 🙂

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