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SCIENCE BEHIND: How frost forms

We're close to the winter school break, but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop! Here's a frost experiment any kid will enjoy.

NORFOLK, Va. — We're close to the winter and holiday school breaks but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop! Kids, don't worry because this is a chilling experiment that you can do at home.

There have been some cool mornings where we've woken up to frost on the cars and other things that live outdoors. So how about we create our own frost (that doesn't require warming the car up before heading about our day)?

Materials:

  1. Ice
  2. Salt
  3. Two cans (Wash out any residue and remove the labels. I used canned chickpeas and canned tomatoes)

And that's it!

Now make sure that everyone, especially the kids, are being careful since the edges of the cans may be sharp.

Procedure:

  1. Add ice to both of the cans
  2. Add salt to only one of the cans (I used quite a bit of salt to speed the process up)
  3. Give the salty can a good shake (you can also mix it with a spoon or other utensil)
  4. Wait!

Depending on how much salt you added to the selected salty can, you'll see frost developing on the outside.

You won't need a scraper but you can use your nails to scrape the frost and see that it looks kind of like snow!

The reason why is that the salt has a cooling effect when added to the ice. 

Any water vapor surrounding the can ends up cooling and eventually freezing as the salt cools. And that's how we get the frost!

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