Winter Wonderland: Growing Crystals by STEMtastic!

        
Winter Wonderland: Growing Crystals by STEMtastic!

a91dba3128b60546d437296142d92d6a.jpgWinter wonderland/growing crystals

Try something a bit different with this activity.  Growing your own crystals is actually easy and can be done at home and you don't even need a kit! Or if you're a teacher reading this you could do this as a school experiment.  Use festive shapes and this can be a Christmas activity too.

This can be done with borax which works brilliantly if you have a school environment where pupils won’t touch the crystals that form afterwards.  If you are doing this at home, use salt for a safer option.

Here are the instructions:

  • Cut out cardboard shapes, slot pieces together to make them 3D (try a Christmas Tree shape or a snowflake!)
     
  • Place in a tray - make sure it it stands up and is sturdy!
     
  • Make a saturated solution of salt and water (or borax and water)
     
  • Pour over the cardboard shapes leaving excess in the tray.
     

Over a few days the water will evaporate and crystals will form on the cardboard looking like a layer of frost or snow- very festive!  Keep it cool for slower evaporation and larger crystal formation. Be patient and this will look great!

[Notes for teachers:

You can teach dissolving, changes of state or even macromolecules and bonding with this practical- easy and fun for all key stages! You can make it into an investigation comparing different amounts of salt in water or compare different conditions using the same amounts such as cold store cupboard, window sills 46af83be646bf65d138c81ccfbc98ac6.jpgor near the heater. Even the sizes of crystals or dry mass can be measured, and then represented in a graph.]

Have fun and enjoy the festivities while still encouraging a good learning environment!




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