Frozen fun in a deep freeze
If you have kids or are a kid at heart, staying inside all weekend while Saskatchewan falls into a deep freeze sounds less than appealing. Here are some ideas on what you can do to keep yourself busy in the frigid temperatures!
HOT WATER VS COLD AIR
A favourite and popular activity at this time of year is throwing boiling hot water into the air and seeing it dissipate. All you need to do is boil water, place it in a small cup and bring it outside. Don’t leave much time between boiling the water and heading out; you don’t want the water to cool. Once outside, toss the hot water into the air! Please be very careful to not get hot water on your skin or clothes.
The Science: A spectacular cloud is formed when you throw boiling hot water into freezing cold air. This happens because the hot water in your cup is already one step away from evaporation, so when you throw it into the cold, dry Saskatchewan air, the tiny droplets cool and evaporate quickly, forming a cloud or sometimes even snow!
This experiment is super cool (no pun intended) and easy! All you need is warm water, some dish soap and a little syrup or sugar. Mix it together in a bowl, grab a bubble wand (or straw) and head outside! Blow the bubble onto a flat surface and watch it freeze but be patient, it may take a couple tries! Then you’ll hear a loud POP as the frozen bubble shatters.
The Science: Crystals form and the walls strengthen in the bubble as the tiny water droplets and soap freezes. Similar to a balloon deflating, the bubble will eventually burst as the air inside slowly leaks out and the icy walls collapse.
Here’s a fun experiment you can do with all the fresh snow we got this week. For the volcano mix, you’ll need six parts vinegar, two parts baking soda, one part dish soap, and a little bit of food colouring. Put the mixture (minus the vinegar for now) in a tall cup or water bottle and go outside to build the snow volcano around it. When you’re ready, add the vinegar and watch it explode!!
The Science: Vinegar is an acid and baking soda is an alkaline substance. When combined, they neutralize each other and release a chemical reaction. This reaction causes the liquid to rise and mix with the dish soap, creating a soapy surprise.
UP IN THE AIR
This experiment is the easiest! Find a couple of balloons and blow them up inside your home. Then take them outside and watch them slowly deflate. When you return inside, the balloon will re-inflate without any help!
The Science: When you expose the balloon to colder temperatures, the volume will shrink to maintain the pressure inside the balloon. Once the balloon returns to warmer temperatures, the volume and pressure will expand! It’s a wonderful example of Charles’ Law, also known as the law of volumes.