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    Ice Experiments
    This experiment is courtesy of 

    Fun With Ice: Really Cool Experiments


    Developers:
    Kathleen B. Horstmeyer
    Gladwyne School
    Gladwyne, PA 19035
    Dr. Paul Reibach
    Agricultural Products Development Research
    Rohm and Haas Company
    Spring House, PA 19422

    This unit is a series of lessons dealing with various aspects of temperature, ice, and freezing. Individual lessons revolve around melting ice, the freezing point, making ice cream, and the birth of ice crystals. The experiments are designed to encourage observation skills and to enhance the student's understanding of scientific principles.

    Experiments 1 to 4 are done in teams. Active participation by all team members is encouraged by assigning individual responsibilities to all team members. The students should be reminded that scientists generally work in teams. Following the experimental section, the students are invited to participate in a scientific convention and present their findings. As part of the convention, the students are challenged to explain how their findings relate to the manufacturing of ice cream and to find a practical use for their discoveries.

     

    SAFETY

    Several important safety issues must be considered:

    1. It is highly recommended that you use alcohol thermometers only. Alcohol thermometers are generally fill with a colored liquid. Mercury is not recommended due to its toxic properties.
    2. Care should be taken when handling glass thermometers of any type. Do not use them for stirring. Be careful not to bang the bulbs on any hard surfaces.
    3. If a thermometer breaks be sure to clean up all glass fragments with a hand held vacuum cleaner.
    4. If salt gets into the ice cream mixture be sure not to eat it (it will taste really bad anyway).
    5. Safety glasses should be worn while performing the hands-on experiments.

     


    Topic Area:

     

    Experiment #1 : Ice Cubes and Salt

    Introduction:

     

    Experimenting with the water/ice mixture is much more than having fun with a "cold" substance. While students are participating in the water/ice activities, they are developing skills in the art of scientific investigation. Students will form small laboratory teams to investigate the water/ice mixture. They will learn how scientists describe the "properties" of a substance. During the lab sessions, they will observe, hypothesize, and experiment with water/ice to determine its unique properties. Students will be challenging each other to define the properties of the water/ice mixture more accurately while refining their communication skills. The experiments following the introduction will allow active participation by all students, thus broadening their understanding of the water/ice mixture using the skills of a real scientist.

     


    Grade
    Levels:
    K-5

    Goal:
    Observe an ice cube alone, with salt and with sugar.

    Predict change in the ice cube over time.

    Discuss changes of the ice cube alone, with salt and with sugar.


    Specific
    Objectives:
    Students will describe the properties of ice. Students will observe that the ice is melting. Students will observe that salt increases the rate at which ice melts compared to adding nothing or sugar.

    Materials:

     

    Ziploc® bag #1 Labeled control

    Ziploc® bag #2 Labeled salt

    Ziploc® bag #3 Labeled sugar

    Plastic teaspoon

    Ice Cubes

    Plastic Ziploc® Bags

    Salt, Sugar

    Plastic sheet or paper to cover work areas


    Background:
    Observation skills are important for any scientific investigation. The experiments that follow in this series deal with the properties of salt, water, and ice. Many substances are known to effect the properties of water and ice, with salt being the most common.

    Procedure:
    Using three Ziploc® bags, place an ice cube of the same size into each Ziploc® bag. Measure one teaspoon of salt and gently sprinkle the salt onto the ice cubes in Ziploc® bag 2 . Measure one teaspoon of sugar and gently sprinkle the salt onto the ice cubes in Ziploc® bag 3. Seal the bags. Observe the three ice cubes to estimate the rate of the melting process. Compare when no ingredient is added, and when salt or sugar are added to the ice cubes. Discuss predictions relating to the changes the ice cubes will have over time.

    Questions:
    *What does the ice cube feel like?

    *Does the ice cube feel different with sugar or salt? How?

    *Did both ice cubes melt in the same way? Why?

    *What can you do to help ice melt?

    *What is happening to the ice cube as you hold it?

    *Would the container or article you place the ice cube in influence the rate of melting ?


    Topic Area:

     

    Experiment #2: Freezing Point Depression


    Grade
    Levels:
    K-5

    Goal:
    Observe the effects of salt on ice and on an ice water mixture. Measure the temperature of ice and ice water with a thermometer after each teaspoon of salt is added. Record temperature each time salt is added to the mixture.

    Specific
    Objectives:
    Learn how to read a thermometer. Students will investigate the temperature lowering as each teaspoon of salt is added to the mixture.

    Materials:

     

    Salt

    Water

    Crushed Ice

    Stirrers

    Plastic Teaspoons

    Glass Baby Food Jars

    Petri Dishes

    Graph for Class

    Graph for Students

    Measuring Beaker

    Thermometers

    Shallow bowls for salt


    Background:
    students will be introduced to scientific variability when they compare their results with other groups. The addition of salts (various types) results in lowering the freezing point of the solution. This lowering is called the freezing point depression. This is the same phenomenon that allows salt to melt ice on the road.

    Procedure:
    Using 25 ml of water and 100 ml of crushed ice, students will stir this mixture; then using a thermometer, observe and record this temperature on their graph. Students will add one gram of salt to the water/ice mixture (one teaspoon can be substituted for one gram), then observe and record the temperature on their graph. Students should repeat this procedure until they reach -10 degrees c. More ice should be added if necessary.

    Theory:

     

    Why is this happening? Why does the temperature go down? Why does the ice melt? These are the most common question you will hear about this experiment. Although the principles involve thermodynamics, the study of energy, and are quite complicated, there is a simple answer. When any type of salt, e.g. sodium chloride, is added to water, the freezing point is lowered and the boiling point is raised. Basically, plain water freezes at 0 degrees centigrade and boils at 100 centigrade. Salt water will not freeze until the temperature is below 0 centigrade. The more salt...the lower the freezing point. In the above experiment energy is lost from the water in the form of heat. This heat is used to melt the ice. Since heat is lost from the water the temperature of the water goes down. Since there is now salt dissolved in the water it cannot freeze again, hence we observe a lowers temperature.

    Questions:
    *What happens to water and ice when salt is added to this mixture?

    *What happens to the temperature when salt is added to the mixture?

    *Why are the numbers different between the groups?

    *What variables would cause these differences?

     


    Topic Area:

     

    Experiment #3: Making Cream Into Ice-Cream


    Grade
    Levels:
    K-5

    Goal:
    Students will consolidate all their previous Ice/Water/salt/temperature experiences to make Ice-cream.

    Specific
    Objectives:
    Students will make Ice-cream using common household ingredients without specialized equipment.

    Materials:

     

    Glass Beakers or Glass Baby Food Jars

    Crushed Ice

    Bucket to hold Ice

    Plastic sheet to cover work area

    Stirrers (3 for each student)

    Half and Half Cream

    Small vials to dispense ingredients

    1/8 teaspoon vanilla

    Thermometers

    Scooper

    Measuring plastic teaspoon

    Water

    Salt

    Kool Aid Drink (for Water Ice)

    Large container for mixing

    1 teaspoon sugar


    Background:
    Ice-cream is made from freezing cream, flavoring, and sugar over a period of time. In order to make ice-cream creamy and smooth, the mixture must be stirred during the freezing process. This lesson will consolidate what we have learned about ice, water, and salt mixtures.

    Procedure:
    Stir 100 ml of crushed ice and 5-6 grams of salt. If desired test the temperature with your thermometer after each gram of salt has been added. Students should understand that they are lowering the Freezing Point. When the Freezing Point has been lowered, students will place the glass beaker or a glass baby food jar onto the Ice/Water/salt mixture. The teacher should prepare a mixture of cream, vanilla, and sugar. Dispense 25-50 ml of the mixture to each student. Add to glass jar in ice mixture. Stir the cream mixture until you have turned the cream into ice-cream. Taste the ice-cream.

    Questions:
    *What happens to the cream when the beaker is placed onto the Ice/Water mixture?

    *Will you need to lower the temperature of the Ice/Water mixture? Why?

    *What should you add to the Ice/Water mixture?

    *How will you accomplish lowering the temperature?

    *What is happening to the cream as you lowered the temperature of the Ice/Water mixture?


    Topic Area:

     

    Experiment #4: The Birth and Growth of Ice Crystals


    Grade
    Levels:
    K-5

    Goal:
    Observe the crystal design pattern starting to form (just before the slush stage). Discuss what you see.

    Specific
    Objectives:
    Investigate the crystal design pattern forming in the petri dish by initiating (poking slightly) with a stirrer.

    Materials:

     

    Crushed Ice

    Glass Petri Dishes

    Kool-Aid Drink

    Plastic bowls

    Plastic sheet to cover work area

    Individual Flash Lights

    Salt

    Stirrers

    Overhead Projector

    Aluminum trays

    Plastic trays

    Glass Container for Crushed Ice


    Background:
    Freezing occurs when water is cooled down; the molecules move more slowly, causing the water molecules to come together and begin the formation of an ice crystal. Usually this process takes a long period of time because the cooling is done slowly. This process can be speeded up by rapid cooling to temperatures just below the freezing point. This process is known as super cooling. When ice crystals form from a super cooled water solution, the crystals form very rapidly. Under these condition the ice crystals can actually be seen to grow.

    Procedure:
    Using a Kool-Aid drink, place some orange Kool-Aid into a petri dish. (Experiments prior to this experiment dealt with reading temperatures on a thermometer and discovering the degrees just below the freezing point). Students prepare a bowl of ice and salt. If desired, test the ice/salt mixture with a thermometer to make sure that the temperature is below the freezing point. Place the petri dish on the ice/salt mixture; watch patiently for 3-5 minutes. Poke the liquid slightly a few times with a rod during this waiting period. Then, the ice CRYSTAL will start forming! Amazingly, it continues to grow very quickly and you can observe this process very vividly. The growing will last about 1 minute. Student should hold a flashlight under the petri dish to observe the crystal structure. A follow-up to this experiment is to do the same experiment on an overhead projector. Light shining through the glass petri dish from the overhead projector or a flashlight allows the close visibility of the crystal formation and structure.

    Questions:
    Before:

    *What will happen to the Kool-Aid mixture on the petri dish?

    *How can we use the materials available to change the properties of Kool-Aid?

    *If we poke the warm liquid slightly with a stirrer, what do you think will happen? Why?

    *When you poke the super cooled liquid slightly with a stirrer, what do you think will happen?

    Why?

    After:

    *Did anything happen when you poked the super cooled liquid? What?

    *Why did we place the petri dish onto the crushed ice salt mixture?

    *What do you call the process that you just observed?

    *If we leave the petri dish on the crushed ice for a longer period, what happens?

    *Do you think that you can stop the crystals from growing?


    Additional Literature:

     

    Water. Copycat Magazine Vol. 8 No. 4. 1993

    The Water Journey. Eleanore Schmid. North-South Books. 1990

    The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks. Joanna Cole. Scholastic. 1987

    Letting Swift River Go. Jane Yolan. Little Brown. 1992

    Water, Stones, Fossils, Bones. Karen K, Lind. National Science Teachers Association. 1991

    Water Science Experiments for Young Children. Rosemary Althouse and Cecil Main Teachers College Press NY. 1975

    Sink or Swim-The Science of Water. Barbara Taylor. Random House .1991

    Water and Ice. Joan Westley. Creative Publications. 1988

    Water Science. Deborah Seed. Addison-Wesley. 1992

    Science With Water. Helen Edom. EDC Publications. Tulsa Oklahoma.

    Investigating Water. A Teachers Guide. Delta Science Module. Delta Education. 1988

    Science Club Liquid Magic. Philip Watson. Walker Books LTD. 1982

    A Walk in the Rain. Ursel Scheffer. Putnam and Sons. N. Y.


    This experiment is courtesy of 



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