Saturday, January 15, 2011

Borax crystal snowflakes

All the snow that has been falling lately around here inspired us this week to create our own snowflakes.
There are a lot of recipes out there for forming crystals and we chose to do ours with borax, which you can find in any supermarket's laundry soap area. (Remember that you must use regular pure borax not the "detergent" soap.)

To do this project (2 crystal snowflakes) you need:

*2 pencils or chopsticks to hold the snowflakes suspended.
*2 wide mouth jars
*hot water
*5 pipe cleaners ( to make 2 snowflakes)

Leave 2 pipe cleaners long and
CUT 3 in half. (You will have 6 little pieces and 2 long pieces.)

Take 3 little pipe cleaner halves and twist them 3 times.

Fan them out to form a snowflake

Add a long pipe cleaner piece by twisting it's end to the middle of the snowflake. This you will use to hang the snowflake from the pencil or chopstick into the jar.

Measure - so that once you insert the snowflake into the jar, it doesn't touch the sides of the jar. (trim if you need to)
Otherwise when the snowflake forms, it's crystals it will stick to your jar.

Trim if you need to...

Add 3 tablespoons of borax to one cup of boiling hot water into your jar. See how many cups of water your jar takes ... The snowflake must stay submerged under the water.
Don't forget to stir to dissolve!!!

Secure your snowflake to your pencil or stick.
Make sure it doesn't touch the sides OR the bottom of the jar.

(my jar took 7 cups of water with 21 TBS of borax.)

This is what it looked like after 8 hours...

And this is what it looked like the next day!

You can try it with silver pipe cleaners or white ones.
Here is a blog that includes all the science standards used when making this science project.

And Martha's instructions (HERE).

Have fun!!

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