Snowflakes and Bubbles
Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and 2, Units 4D, 5C and 5D
Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6
The time for the session is approximately 1 hour. The length of the session can be varied by modifying the PowerPoint presentation once downloaded.
Outline of content
- Establish what the children already know, using a demonstration
- Explain differences between solids and liquids (different materials change from liquid to solid at different temperatures)
- Solids remember how they grew
- There are two types of frozen water, formed in different ways: a) snow and b) ice
a) formation of snowflakes using an on-line computer simulation
b) formation of (close packed) crystalline solids using a game and bubble rafts
- Bubbles are very different to either water or air because they are a sandwich
- Special solids can be grown using MB (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) which are used in computer chips etc.
Points to note:
- The slides in the PowerPoint presentation (4.8 MB) are referenced in the plan.
- As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.
- Apparatus details are linked to the relevant sections.
- Notes about safety are included with the actitivties.
- Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS 1 and 2 strategies
- (NB. It also uses terms not introduced until KS 3.)
Misconceptions to be corrected
- Crystal surfaces are not formed naturally.
- Ice, snow and water are different materials.
- Solids such as crystals cannot be melted.
- Freezing and melting are not reversible.
- Children often confuse melting and dissolving. This presentation explains melting.