We had a rare treat this morning-snow! Virginia Beach does not see too much of the white stuff so when we do, it normally shuts down the entire city! As I went outside today to play with my son, I was in awe of how beautiful snow makes the world!
From the trees to the ground, everything was covered in snow. Of course those of you who know me well know I could not stop thinking about the science behind snow!
Not to take anything away from snow, but it is just water in a different form. Simply put, water is nature’s magical substance! At one temperature it can take the form of a solid known as ice or snow while at another temperature it is a gas. To make it change, you need to change temperature. It freezes at 32 degrees F and boils at 100 degrees F. We can’t live without it for more than three days. And yet, when it freezes, depending on how fast or slow it freezes we get two completely different things-ice and snow!
When the air temperature hits 25-32 degree, these crystals form in thin, hexagonal plates. If the temperature continues to cool-around 21-25, the crystals form in more needle-shapes. Beyond that you tend to get different shapes such as hollow columns or hexagonal plates with indentions, and even branched shapes.
Water also allows us to begin to teach young children how to work like scientists to compare and contrast. Using strategies such as a Box and T chart allow our young scientists to learn how to focus on differences while identifying those things that are the same.
If you were lucky enough to get some snow today, take your kids on a hike and look for the differences between the snow and ice! For more ideas, check out a free lesson plan I have on Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s site. Be sure and save some snow to take in tomorrow for your lesson! Just click here to find the lesson plan!