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Lions Learning Lab: Instant Ice

Science experiments you can try at home! Justin Huffman from Penn State Altoona’s Lions Learning Lab shows us how to make ice – instantly!

“Instant Ice”

Demonstration Concept

This science demonstration teaches kids about supercooled liquids and the formation of ice. Kids will have fun turning water into ice instantly!

Materials

  • Small Bowl (any type will be fine).
  • Four bottles of water (500 mL or 16.9 fl. oz)
  • Ice cubes
  • Kitchen freezer
  • Towel (optional but useful)

Instructions

  • Place four unopened bottles (500 mL) of water into the freezer, laying them down on their side. Also, fill the bottom of your bowl with ice cubes and place them in the freezer as well. The bottled water and bowl of ice cubes should remain in the freezer (undisturbed) for 2 hours.
  • Once the 2 hours are up, place the bowl on a still, solid surface with a towel below it. Then, very carefully remove just one bottle of water from the freezer (the water in the bottle should still be a liquid). Keep the remaining three bottles of water in the freezer for an additional 15 minutes to keep chilling in case the first bottle doesn’t produce ice.
  • Slowly remove the cap and pour the water gently over the ice cubes. If the water is just the right temperature (supercooled), it should start forming a column of ice as you pour.
  • If the water doesn’t produce ice as you pour, drain the water from the ice cubes in the bowl, and place them back into the freezer. Wait the additional 15 minutes and follow steps 2 and 3 as before.
  • Keep repeating this procedure every 15 minutes until you’re able to produce a column of ice.

Visit Lions Learning Lab for more information.

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