STEAM Saturday – Frost in a Jar! (1/14/2023)

The weather has been relatively mild lately, but it is still winter, and we’re sure your little one has noticed the covering of frost that appears each morning on our grass, cars, etc.  You can help them learn how frost forms as you work together to create Frost in a Jar!

So, how does frost form, anyway?  Steamsational explains, “Frost is a thin ice layer that forms on a solid surface. Frost forms when the air temperature is slightly above freezing, while the surface of the solid is below freezing.  When water vapor comes in contact with the freezing surface, it causes the vapor to change from vapor to ice and forms a thin layer of ice crystals.”

Here’s what you’ll need to recreate the conditions to make frost at home with your child:

  • A glass mason jar
  • Ice
  • Salt
  • Blue food coloring
  • A tiny bit of water

In a small bowl, color some water blue and set it aside.  Next, fill the mason jar about 3/4 of the way with crushed ice (crushed will freeze faster than larger ice cubes).  The next step is to add a half-inch layer of salt on top of the ice.  Once you’ve done that, pour your blue water over the top.  In just a few seconds, watch your frost begin to form!  After about three minutes, you’ll be able to see a thick layer of frost on the outside of the jar.

You can also do this experiment several times while changing different variables to see if the results change.  For instance, what happens if you change the amount of ice you use?  The type of salt?  What about other liquids besides water?  If you shake the jar?  There are many different ways to engage your little scientist.  Make sure they write down all of their questions and observations.

See the full experiment from Steamsational HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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