MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It can be difficult to have fun outside when temperatures plunge into subzero territory, but science offers a means for the curious (and winter weary) to take advantage of the bitter cold.

frozen bubble doug and betty johannsen Create Ice Bubbles, Instant Snow With These Cold Weather Experiments

(credit: Doug and Betty Johannsen)

Here are three cold weather experiments:

Kill A Balloon, Bring It Back To Life

What you need:

— a balloon, access to warm indoors/cold outdoors

What to do:

— blow up balloon inside warm house
— bring outside and watch it deflate
— bring it back inside and watch it come back to life!

What’s the science?

The air inside the balloon shrinks and expands as it decreases and increases in density — it’s a gas, after all. The volume of a gas (in this case, the air) changes with temperature.

As it gets colder, the balloon will shrink as the density increases. Then, when it’s brought back into the warm indoors, the density will decrease, and the air inside the balloon will expand again.

Toss Hot Water In The Air, Turn It To Snow

*SAFETY, SAFETY , SAFETY – You must throw the boiling water AWAY from yourself and other people*

What you need:

–boiling water, mug or thermos

What to do:

— head outside in the frigid temperatures (the colder the better) and throw the boiling water AWAY from you
— watch as the water immediately evaporates into snow

What’s the science?

The cold air isn’t able to hold the water, which is why we generally don’t see big snow storms amid subzero temperatures. When the hot water is tossed in the frigid air, the water droplets evaporate. The moisture then cools very quickly, and falls as snow.

Freeze Bubbles

What you need:

— bubbles
— You can use pre-made bubble solution or make your own by mixing one part water with four parts soap (dish soap works very well, though shampoo could also be used).
— Some blogs/websites also recommend adding light corn syrup

What to do:

— Go outside and blow bubbles.
— Watch them freeze as they head down to the ground.

Comments (2)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.