Friday, 21 October 2016

Melting Ice Science Experiment

This week's theme for the Unit Study Roundup is Winter, Ice and Snow.  I decided to do a little experiment with my daughter.  I had visions of making cups of ice for this experiment but alas I had a a wonderfully full ice box and couldn't so I had to make do with ice hearts.

We decided to try the experiment with three ice hearts.  We used about one half of a teaspoon of sugar and salt to try this out.

My daughter put the salt on and I put the sugar on and the third ice heart we decided to see what would happen with nothing and just using the air temperature of the room.

We periodically checked the time and wanted to see which worked the best for melting the ice.  We hypothesised that the salt would work to melt the ice the fastest and the sugar would be second and air temperature would take the longest.

This is what we saw after five minutes:

Air temperature on the left, the top ice heart has sugar on it and the bottom right has salt on it.

The salt had eaten through the ice five minutes in.

After approximately 50 minutes, the salt ice heart was completely melted and the sugar was very nearly melted and the air temperature still had a way to go.  I put them in medal formation!  The salt is in the first place spot, the sugar in the second place spot and the air temperature is in the third place spot.

What is the Science behind this?  Water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  When you add sugar or salt to the water, you change the equilibrium of the water molecules and that means that it now needs to be at a lower temperature to freeze.  Instead of melting at  0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit it might need to be at -5 degrees Celsius or 23 degrees Fahrenheit.  Because the salt melted the water the fastest, that means the salt water needs an even lower temperature to freeze.

We went back to check on the ice hearts and after one hour or 60 minutes, the sugar had completely melted the ice and there was still a tiny bit of ice left to melt from the ice heart that had nothing added to it. 70 minutes after the start of our experiment, and the remaining ice heart still had a tiny piece of ice left to melt.  After 75 minutes all of the ice hearts had melted.

Ta da!  The final product - water!

Don't forget to read what the other bloggers have been writing about for this week's topic!

Snowflake Printable Math Activity from Playdough and Popsicles

Exciting Children's Reading List about Snow from Crafty Mama in ME

Snowman Crafts for Kids from Look! We're Learning!

Board Books Celebrating Winter from The Jenny Evolution

Snow Science from iGameMom

Snowman Ornament from CraftCreateCalm

Learning about Snowflake Bentley from Faith and Good Works

Melting Ice Science Experiment from Tales of Education at Home

Want to Build a Snowman? from Mrs. Karle's Sight and Sound Reading

Literacy Games for Kids: Outdoor Ice Scrabble from Schooling a Monkey

Snow Games for Kids Outside from FrogMom