SCIENCE CORNER: Make a snowflake by growing your own ice crystals

Science Corner

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Have you ever wondered why no two snowflakes are the same? In this Science Corner experiment, we learn about that plus make snowflakes by growing our own crystals!

**PARENTAL SUPERVISION IS RECOMMENDED DUE TO BOILING WATER AND BORAX BEING USED**

Supplies: 

  • Borax (Found with laundry detergent)
  • Water
  • Glass, Jar or Vase
  • Pencil
  • String or Ribbon
  • Pipe Cleaners 

Steps:

  1. Cut pipe clear into thirds. Place pieces together and twist the center to hold them together
  2. Cut 6 1.5-inch pieces to twist on each arm of the snowflake 
  3. Tie a long piece of strong to the center of your snowflake and wrap the other end around a pencil 
  4. Dissolve 3 TBS of borax powder for each cup of boiling water (boiling water makes the molecules move away from each other and allows borax to dissolve)
  5. Fill glass/jar/vase with borax solution and hang your snowflake down inside the glass. Make sure it does not touch the bottom or sides and that it is full submerged. 
  6. Be sure you leave it alone and let it do its magic! You will see some changes after a couple of hours, but will see even more after around 24 hours. 
  7. The next day, gently lift your snowflake out and let it dry on a paper towel for about an hour. 
  8. Come back here for a photo of the final result soon!

Explanation:

When you put the borax in boiling water it dissolved. The particles settle on the bottom of the jar and the pipe cleaner. When the water cools the borax goes back to its natural state. 

Why is each snowflake different? 

Snowflakes form when a really cold water droplet freezes on a pollen or dust particle making an ice crystal. As it falls, water vapor freezes onto the original crystal and builds new crystals (six arms). They are all different because they all follow slightly different paths to the ground and encounter different conditions, temperatures, winds…etc along the way. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories