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Maker Monday: Snowstorm Magic

Sally Quinn
November18/ 2019

With “Frozen 2” set to open, the timing is perfect for this Maker Monday STEM activity. Elsa is not the only one who can make Snowstorm Magic. With a few simple supplies, kids can create a DIY snowstorm in a jar — and learn a science lesson at the same time.

Whether the temperature is plummeting outdoors or you just want to bring a bit of winter fun to a sunny day, your snowstorm in a jar is a foolproof way to get kids interested in science.

This experiment comes from Little Passports Science Expeditions Subscription.

Supplies:

Water (about 1 cup)

Baby oil

Glitter

Alka-Seltzer tablets

White paint

Blue food coloring

Mason jar

Stir stick

 Fill your jar about three-fourths full with baby oil. In a separate bowl, blend water and a few tablespoons of white paint.

Add as much glitter and blue food coloring to the oil as you’d like, and then top off the jar with your water and paint mixture.

Drop your Alka-Seltzer tablet into the jar, and take a step back. Once the storm ends and the ingredients settle down, add more Alka-Seltzer for another snowstorm.

The science behind this experiment: This experiment works for a few reasons. Because oil is less dense than water, the water will naturally sink to the bottom of the jar. When the Alka-Seltzer is dropped into the jar, its interaction with the water creates pressure in an upward direction, and the oil pushes it back down. This pressure back and forth is part of what creates the snowstorm. The other element is the interaction between water and sodium bicarbonate in the Alka-Seltzer, which generates carbon dioxide gas. The combination of these factors creates a blizzard every time.

With a Little Passports Science Expeditions Subscription, kids receive a monthly package full of science experiments and STEM-related activities. Themes include rockets, forensics, caves and crystals.

For more Maker Monday projects and other fun stuff for kids, visit the Kidsburgh Activities page.

Sally Quinn

Sally Quinn is an award-winning writer and editor who has been covering her favorite city for more than 20 years. She welcomes comments and story ideas for Kidsburgh.

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