Winter Themed S.T.E.M.

#blog

By Rachel Wells

When the weather outside is frightful, winter science experiments are so delightful!

Whether you love it or hate it, winter is here to stay for a while, and that often means months of freezing temperatures and more time spent inside – this year more than ever. What is one surefire way to cure boredom and have fun indoors? Science! It’s messy, educational, hands on, and always fun. And luckily, even if you live somewhere without a freezing cold and snowy winter, most of these experiments don’t actually need snow or cold to work. During winter, or at any point over these next few months, grab some basic supplies and start experimenting!

Tallest Snowman Competition

The Challenge: To create the tallest freestanding snowman using no more than 3 levels (not including their hat). Snowmen are measured from their bottom to the top of their hat.  Be warned – this is much trickier than it sounds!

Supplies Needed:
  • Tissue paper
  • Copy paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Tape
  • Pipe cleaners
  • markers

Frozen Bubbles

Supplies Needed:
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • 200 mL of warm water
  • 5 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons dish soap
  • Straw
  • Water bottle
  • Playdough
  • Cold weather
Step-by-step:
  1. An ideal temperature for this experiment is around 14* Fahrenheit or colder.
  2. Add water to your container, then stir in corn syrup until the water is clear.
  3. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  4. Lastly, add the dish soap and stir to combine.
  5. Put a lid on the container and set it in your freezer or outside for 30 minutes to chill – but do not let it freeze!
  6. While the mixture is chilling, take your empty bottle cap and drill a hole in it big enough to fit the straw. Place the straw through the cap and seal it with playdough (clay or hot glue will work too)
  7. Head outside and find an area of snow away from any breezes. Dip the end of the straw into the bubble mixture, and squeeze the bottle to “blow” and create the bubbles. Setting the bubbles on snow will help them crystalize.

Snowstorm in a Jar

Supplies Needed:
  • Baby oil
  • White paint
  • Alka-Seltzer tablets
  • Clear glass jar
  • Paper towel
  • Glitter (optional)
Step-by-step:
  1. Fill the jar ¼ of the way with water.
  2. Add a teaspoon of white paint in the water and stir until the mixture looks like milk. Add more paint if needed.
  3. Fill the rest of the jar with baby oil.
  4. Add glitter if desired.
  5. Let the mixture settle on the bottom of the jar.
  6. Break up an Alka-Seltzer tablet and drop the pieces little by little into the jar.
  7. Enjoy your inside snowstorm!

Speedy Snowboarders

The Challenge: To make a snowboarder out of the listed supplies, and test their speed and distance traveled by racing them down a ramp.

Supplies Needed:
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tape
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Small weights (can substitute with magnets or marbles)

Melting Artic Animals

Supplies Needed:
  • Small toy arctic animals
  • Bowls (small and large)
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Eye dropper
  • Food coloring
  • Salt
  • Baking sheet or tray
Step-by-Step:
  1. Freeze the arctic animals by placing them in a bowl of water, and then into the freezer.
  2. Once the water is frozen, remove the ice block/iceberg from the bowl and place it on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, mix warm water with a few drops of food coloring.
  4. In another small bowl, add some salt.
  5. Have your child use an eye dropper to drop dots of warm, colored water onto the ice block, along with a sprinkling of salt, and watch as the ice slowly melts.
  6. Continue until all of the artic animals are free!
 

Have fun, and let us know which experiments you liked best!


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