Think Outside The Box- January 2014

Think Outside the Box

Winter is being tough on most of us this year.  Many people have more snow than they know what to do with right now!  Why not put that snow to use?  Have some fun and spend some of that ‘snowbound energy’ the kids are full of!  Learn about snow – and play with it at the same time.

Snowflakes are formed when extremely cold water droplets freeze on pollen or dust particles in the sky.  This creates an ice crystal.  As the crystal falls to the ground, water vapor clings to it, building onto the crystal and forming the six arms on the snowflake.  The temperature of the air determines the shape of the arms.  Colder air will make a more flat, plate-like crystals, and warmer air gives us the long needle-like shapes.  Changes in the air temperature can cause changes as the snowflake falls.

Grab yourself a piece of black velvet or construction paper and a magnifying glass.  Since snowflakes melt so quickly, you’ll need to freeze your cloth or paper first, and work fast!  Take your frozen cloth or paper outside and catch some snowflakes.  Quickly use the magnifying glass to look at the intricate designs.  Many snowflakes are broken, but still beautiful to look at!  Have fun determining whether the air was colder or warmer on the snowflake’s way down.

After viewing your flakes, you can draw some of your own and enjoy them a little longer!

Have fun, stay warm,  be safe, and remember to Think Outside the Box!