OK, so this experiment is not completely as it sounds, but it IS a great way to use some of this snow we have been getting. So, the question is, what fun thing can you do with snow when sledding gets old and you’re just plain ready for spring?
You make a sweet slushy drink using snow! Before you get worried and quit reading, we are not actually suggesting that you EAT the snow; however, you can definitely use it in a clever way to make a slushy treat.
What You Need:
- Bucket o’ Snow
- 2 Gallon Ziploc Bags
- 12-16 oz of Water
- Pre-Sweetened Drink Mix (Kool-Aid Singles or Crystal Light On The Go)
- Rock Salt or Ice Cream Salt (you can even try table salt but it may dissolve quickly)
What You Do:
1. Pour approximately 1 cup of rock or ice cream salt in a gallon Ziploc bag
6. Keep agitating the bags for about 5-7 minutes and add snow to the salt bag as needed
How does this work?
Adding salt to snow interferes with the formation of ice crystals and lowers the freezing point of the water that makes up the snow. When you add salt to snow, the snow begins to melt. As the snow melts, it absorbs heat energy from its surroundings. In this experiment, the rapidly melting snow is pulling heat from the flavored water in the other baggie causing the flavored water to rapidly drop to temperatures below 32F. As you continue to add snow to the salt, the melting snow continues to draw heat from the flavored water and causes it to turn into a delicious, frozen slushy.
This is why we often use salt to melt ice and snow on roads. The salt melts the ice and lowers the temperature at which the water can refreeze. On roads, the salt also has a drying effect that often times can allow the water from the ice and snow to dry up before it refreezes.
Sometimes chemistry can be so fun!
Give this a try and tell us about the results of your experiment!