Science Challenge: Crystal Snowflake
We all love the beautiful winter snowflakes, but bringing them inside is nearly impossible. This month, we will explore making artificial snow crystals that can be used to decorate the house.
- 3 cups hot water (adult supervision recommended)
- 9 tablespoons of Borax (laundry booster)
- A wide mouth glass jar
- Pipe cleaner
- A pencil
Twist your pipe cleaner into the shape of a snowflake or whatever shape you desire. Attach the pipe cleaner to the pencil so that it dangles from it
Mix the borax in the hot water until it dissolves completely. You may need to reheat water and keep stirring. Pour mixture into your glass jar and lower your snowflake into the mixture. Make sure your entire snowflake is submerged. Let the snowflake sit overnight. You will see crystals forming on the pipe cleaner.
How it works:
Borax can dissolve in cold water, when dissolved in warm water even more can be dissolved. So when the borax is stirred into the hot water until no more can fit, it is called supersaturated. As the water cools, it cannot hold as much of the borax in each water molecule. The water releases some of the borax into its natural repeating mineral shape. These crystals attach to the pipe cleaner and make your artificial snowflake.