Make Your Own Ice Art

Learning Objectives: To be able to describe and demonstrate how salt melts ice.

In the winter many cold regions rely heavily on ice melt consisting of salt. This substance seemingly works magic by melting the ice and snow on driveways and roads, properties that can be utilized to make beautiful ice art.

This activity can easily be done at home no matter the season and is inspired by an episode of Lego Friends (see below). Show the video to your children or students to introduce the activity. All you need is a bowl, water, a pan with sides, table salt, food coloring and a freezer.

Freeze a bowl of water to make an ice block. Turn the bowl over on top of the pan and remove the ice. Sprinkle some table salt (NaCl) on top of the ice-you may hear it crackle when it melts the ice. Add food coloring and let it run down the ravines to make a beautiful crystal.

By sprinkling the salt onto the ice block, you lower the freezing point of the water by creating a water/salt (impure) solution. The addition of the salt melts the block to form the ravines through which the food dye passes to create a unique piece of art.

Cool, huh? Just remember to take a picture of it before it melts! Would love to see any pictures of your ice art.

Additional Resources

Why do we put salt on icy sidewalks in the winter?

How Does Salt Battle Road Ice?

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