Amazing Expanding Ice


Children experiment with freezing water to observe another special building of ice: that it is less thick as a solid (ice) than it is as a liquid (water). Amazing, Expanding Ice! is an "overnight" task requiring 20 minutes of preparation, overnight freezing of the experiment, and 10 minutes of follow-up discussion.

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What"s the Point?

Substances exist in various states; i.e. solid, liquid, gas Ice is a unique substance bereason its solid state — ice — is less dense than its liquid state. Physical properties are qualities of a substance. They perform not change. Physical properties include color, smell, freezing/melting suggest, and density. Density is a meacertain of the mass (amount of stuff) per unit volume (amount of space) of a substance.


For the group:

Several pitchers of water Access to a freezer Trays to bring cups of water Paper towels in situation of spills Access to a kitchen range or postal scale (optional)

For each child:

For each boy or group of children:

2 (4- or 6-ounce) small paper cups Foil to cover the cups Marker to compose on cups Ruler

For the facilitator:


Fill the pitchers with water to a level that the kids will have the ability to pour into the cups. Each child will certainly require sufficient water to fill both cups. If you are going to undertake The Tip of the Iceberg task on an additional day, plan to return the cups through ice to the freezer to store them frozen.


Invite the kids to think about what they have learned about ice and also water. What state of water is ice? A solid. What hregarding take place to turn water right into ice? It has to freeze. At what temperature does water rotate into ice? 32°F or 0°C. Can they think of any examples in their lives as soon as they make ice from water? Some kids may share that they have actually made ice cubes or popsicles in their freezers. What else do they recognize from their experiences about ice and also water? Some kids might observe that the ice "grows" or broadens in the ice cube tray. Provide the children with the products and their Ice Investigator Journals. Have each boy label their 2 cups with their names on the side. Have each child fill their 2 cups via water to identical levels between half and three-quarters complete. They have to closely note the levels of the water in the cups. Have them closely cover each cup through foil and also secure it (like a lid). Have the youngsters weigh their cups of water on the kitchen scale and mark the weight on the cup. Share via the kids that you will certainly now freeze one of each group’s cups of water overnight or until you view them the next time. What execute they think will happen? Why did they cover the cups with the foil? This prevents an additional state change — the change of liquid water right into water vapor via the procedure of evaporation! Have the children document their concepts and also indevelopment from their experiments in their Ice Investigator Journals.
Facilitator"s Note: If you wish, you have the right to extfinish this activity to study the procedure of evaporation by having the kids usage 3 cups rather of 2. They should prepare the third cup as they have the various other 2, but leave it unspanned. After a duration of time of a couple of days, they will uncover that the level of water goes down. Several of the water has actually evaporated, or changed from liquid to water vapor.
Have the children area among their cups of water on the "goes to the freezer" tray and one on the "remains in the room" tray. Place the "freezer" cups in the freezer overnight. Rerelocate them from the freezer just prior to you check out the children during the following session. After the water in the cups has actually frozen, rerevolve the 2 cups to each team. Invite the kids to compare their cups. What carry out they observe happened? The water turned to ice. What is this adjust from one develop of a substance to one more called? A state change! What perform they observe around the level of water and also ice compared to the lines they drew to mark the water levels originally? The ice is above the line they attracted, however the water is still at the exact same line. How have the right to this be? Are ice and also water the same "thing" (composition)? Yes. What happened as soon as the ice froze? It "grew" or increased. Some children may say that even more water was added and also that"s why there is more ice. Have the youngsters weigh their cups. Is there a distinction in the weights? No (various other than a small variability of the range, the weights need to be the same). What can the children conclude about the amount of water that the ice contains? It is the same as the amount of water via which they began. Share via the youngsters that there is a distinction in density in between ice and also water. In their experiment, the kids had the exact same amount of product in both cups — the very same amount of water - however when they froze the water, the volume adjusted. The amount of water was "stretched" to make a larger volume of ice. What would certainly the children have had to carry out to get the ice to fill the cup just to the line as soon as the water froze? Add less water! Ice is less thick than water. If you had the very same volume of ice, or ice that only checked out the line on the cup, it would certainly contain much less material (water) than water of the exact same volume.
Facilitator"s Note: Density is mass per unit volume, or the ratio of the amount of issue in an object compared to its volume, or sindicate put: Mass = the amount of "stuff" Weight = how heavy the "stuff"is (Weight is established by the amount of gravitational pull on an object, which is a property of the mass of the earth the "stuff" is on. The greater the gravitational pull, the even more the "stuff" weighs.) Density = exactly how tightly packed the "stuff" is Volume = the area of area the "stuff" takes up If we use this information to the cups, the cup of water and the cup of ice have the exact same mass, i.e. amount of "stuff.” Due to the fact that they had actually the same amount of "stuff," they have actually the very same weight. The "stuff" (molecules) in water is even more tightly packed than in ice, so water has greater thickness than ice. Don"t let the reality that ice is a solid fool you! As water freezes it expands. So, ice has actually more volume (it takes up even more area, however has much less density) than water.
Share through the youngsters that this is a really distinct building of water. As the majority of substances get cooler, their material (molecules) scrunch closer and also closer together, choose penguins snuggled together to save warm. Water molecules, but, do not choose to scrunch. They spread out prefer acrobats in development to create ice crystals prefer we watch in snowflakes and also frost.
Facilitator"s Note: Water molecules in the liquid state like hanging out together as droplets, however in the solid (frozen) state, they require their room. A water molecule is equivalent in outline to Micessential Mouse, through 2 hydrogen atoms placed on one finish of an oxygen atom. The oxygen atoms are positively charged and also hydrogen atoms negatively charged, so water molecules stick to each other favor tiny magnets. The hydrogen "ears" make loose bonds, called hydrogen bonds, via the oxygen "faces" of various other water molecules.

Have the youngsters document their results and also interpretations in their Ice Investigator Journals.

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Ask the kids to predict what will occur if ice, which is less dense than water, is placed right into water? Find out in the next activity!


If the kids have began to construct a scurrently mobile, invite them to document any type of answers they found on the proper pieces. Some of the inquiries that they ca response might include:

When water turns to ice, it expands/contracts. (circle one) Water is even more dense/less thick than ice. (circle one)

Have them annotate any kind of new concerns they have actually or interesting points they learned on the proper shapes of either raindrop, cloud, or snowflake.