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STEM Saturday: Frozen!

What a wonderful surprise to see snow falling on the very morning of this month's STEM Saturday, where we did science explorations with snow and ice! Unfortunately, the storm kept some folks at home - but it gave those who attended a chance to catch snowflakes and view them under a magnifying glass!

We gathered snow in plastic cups, marked the level, and predicted how much water there would be when it melted. See how close we were? Looks like there is not very much water in snow!

Are mittens warm? We put thermometers inside our mittens to see. The temperature in there was about the same as the air temperature in the library. But when we measured with our hands inside the mittens, that's when the temperature went up. We think mittens must keep your body heat in.

After looking at photos of Arctic animals, we put one hand in ice water - the closest we could get to their Arctic environment. Brrrrr! Then we put on a "blubber glove", a plastic bag inside another bag filled with cooking shortening. We tried to feel the cold of the water, but could feel nothing but warm. Good thing seals, walruses, and narwhals have so much blubber!

Ice cubes and salt inside a tin can made frost on the outside. Salt poured on a string that was laying across an ice cube made the ice melt, then reform so it stuck to the string. Salt changes the melting temperature of ice. This must be why towns use salt on our icy roads!
We read Bob the Snowman by Sylvia Loretan, about Bob who travels south and then back north in a surprising way. On the iPad, we looked at photos of snowflakes that "Snowflake Bentley" took in the early 1900s. Because it was too warm to make them ourselves, we marveled at pictures of frozen bubbles. We finished the hour with a frozen treat - popsicles! Thanks to everyone who braved the elements and made January's STEM Saturday so "cool"!

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