Science Project Brings About the Wonders of Melting Ice


Ms. Amber’s Elephant prekindergarten class is learning all about ice!

Their first project – each student made a hypothesis in their science notebooks on which piece of ice would melt faster. The choices were ice in: salt, water, dirt or paint. An ice cube alone in a bowl served as their control so the students would have it to measure against the other pieces of ice.

Ms. Amber and her students observed and discussed the changes in the ice every 15 minutes. They observed five separate times, and Ms. Amber took pictures. The students noted the order that the ice melted and then drew faces in their science notebooks – smiley faces for a correct hypothesis and a frown face for an incorrect hypothesis.

So, which piece of ice melted the fastest? What’s your hypothesis? If you said the ice in water, you are correct! After that piece of ice, the ice in salt melted, followed by the ice in paint, and next the ice in dirt. The students observed for another hour and occasionally discussed what they saw until the control (the ice alone) melted.

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The Elephant class was so intrigued with their ice project that they did an extension of the fun science activity!

This time, students made a hypothesis on what they thought would happen when they used different-sized ice cubes (ice blocks and ice cubes the students froze the day before) and added table salt, sea salt and liquid watercolors to them. The kids worked with a partner and explored all of the “ingredients” to be used -two types of salt, liquid watercolor, droppers, water and ice.

Ms. Amber and her students discussed whether the sizes of the salts and ice cubes made a difference in their experiment. Students then observed what the salts did to the ice and which ice cube melted faster. They discovered that the sea salt melted the ice quicker. Watercolor made the ice look like it had veins! The big ice blocks took a long time to melt. Some students asked to add water to the bowl of salt with the ice; they think the combination of water and salt resulted in the ice melting even faster!

To end the project, students drew pictures of their conclusions in their science notebooks.

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