School Projects

Fun Projects

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Science Experiment #6

Did you all have a nice Valentine's Day?  We did, although we didn't celebrate in the traditional way.  Instead of a romantic date with just my husband, we took the whole family along to an extended family get-together to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday.  We were supposed to go ice skating before eating pizza together, but when the temperature sank below zero we all chickened out and skipped straight to the pizza part.  We had a lot of fun and nobody complained too loudly at the lack of frostbitten toes!

While the extremely cold temperatures were not very kind to outdoor ice skating enthusiasts,  they were very conducive to last week's science experiment, which involved the very complicated process of freezing a liquid (water) into a solid (ice).  To make it a little more interesting we used three different shapes of glass containers to see what effect the shape of the container had on freezing time.  We poured 1.5 cups of tap water each into a tall and skinny glass vase, 
a medium-sized Pyrex measuring bowl,
and a large but shallow cake pan.
Then we made predictions about which container would freeze first.  
Ian actually put some thought into his predictions, noting that "the more water that actually touched the cold air the faster it would freeze."  The other three kids just randomly guessed (or copied) their predictions.
At 3:15 in the afternoon we put the bowls outside on the front porch, and started checking every 30 minutes.  After an hour we got our first bit of ice in the cake pan (much rejoicing by Ian at his "win"), and after two and three-quarter hours the first container - the cake pan - was frozen solid (much more rejoicing by Ian at his "victory").  We finally suspended the experiment at bedtime (7pm) with two containers frozen solid and one (the measuring bowl) only mostly frozen.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of the kids checking their ice, but I didn't.  You'll have to imagine four children, several wearing SHORTS, insisting on checking their ice outdoors every thirty minutes without putting socks or shoes or coats on.  "Why, Mom?  It isn't that cold out here!"

Happy freezing in the "not cold", everyone!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I love that littlest scientist. What a cutie.