|Don't Be Too Flaky|
|Summary: The density of water, ice, and snow aren't the same even though all three are composed of H2O. In this experiment we'll measure the relative densities of these three substances. After you're done you can submit your results to us and they will appear here on our web site along with data contributed by other students all over the world!|
I. JUST THE FACTS
Snowflakes are formed by the freezing of water vapor in the air. Layers of snowflakes on a surface, such as the ground, are simply called snow. Snow is mostly a combination of snowflakes and air. The amount of air that snow contains affects its volume (the amount of space it takes up). When snow melts, the trapped air is released. Thus, the volume of snow is greater than the volume of the liquid water it forms when melted. Not all snow is the same, and snow is not the only form of frozen water. Ice, sleet, and hail are also mostly a combination of frozen water and air. Let's compare the properties of ice and snow around the world, and at the South Pole.
Note: if a non-metric measuring cup is used for this activity, fluid ounces can be converted to milliliters using this relationship: 1 fluid ounce = 30ml. However, strictly speaking 1 fluid ounce = 29.573730ml, but we will use the approximation of 30ml= 1 fluid ounce for this activity. Whole number estimates of other relationships between metric and English measurements are also used, such as 1 quart = 1 liter, thus 1 cup =250 ml.
II. DON'T GET HURT / WATCH OUT!
Although snow and ice are very common materials, caution should be taken to prevent possible frostbite or cuts on the hand from jagged edges of ice that may be mixed with the snow. If you use kitchen utensils in the lab, be careful to make sure that they do not come in contact with materials that will contaminate them and make them unsafe to use with food.
III. WHAT'S UP?
How does the volume of snow compare to the volume of liquid water that the melted snow forms?
IV. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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VIII. DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?
Submit the results of your experiment to us! As we collect data from students around the world we'll post the results here. To contribute your data simply fill in the blanks below and hit the "Submit" button.
Check out data already submitted. Inspect the data and answer the following questions:
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CARA's research and education programs are supported in part by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement, grant number NSF OPP 89-20223. © Copyright 1998,1999,2000 by Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica. This copyright applies to all web pages and images created by CARA. Check out CARA's organizational home page.Questions? Comments? email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Last modified Monday, 04-Dec-2000 16:35:09 CST