Sci Fri Science Club: Freeze Challenge

Sci Fri Science Club: Freeze Challenge

Grade Level

All

subject

Physical Science

Activity Type: , ,

Ice is nice, and freezing stuff starts to sound especially pleasant when the days get hot and long. Scientists and engineers think it’s neat to freeze things too. For example, some researchers study strange ice formations on Earth so that they can look for it on other planets, some engineers craft the perfect ice for speed skating, others engineer special freezers just for simulating conditions on Jupiter’s’ moon Europa. Even artists use ice as a medium!

For this Science Club, we challenge you to create, invent, or engineer something frozen that’s totally cool.

It’s the Science Club Freeze Challenge:

Use your freezer to make something neat.

All you have to do is:

  1. Engineer, invent, craft, carve, build, or make something totally unique and totally frozen.
  2. Share your frozen creation with the hashtag #SciFriSciClub on Twitter, Instagram, or by submitting your creation using the form below.

You can create anything frozen for this Science Club challenge. Check out the project ideas, submissions, and frozen inspiration below, and get freezing!

Ice Challenge Highlights!

“We froze a water balloon and then played with it by adding salt and food colouring.” – Ines and family, Montreal, Canada

 

“I decided to make rainbow Ice cubes. The order in which you add the colors makes a difference in how you see the colors.” – Donna, San Francisco, CA

 “I made an ice fidget spinner. I used the plastic that a fidget spinner comes in as the mold and the bearing to make it spin.” – Sarah, Sterling, MA

Frozen Project Ideas


Make Supercool Fruit Pops

  • Make Instant Ice

    Click the arrow to learn how to make instant ice

  • Step 1

    Place a bottle of distilled water into the freezer to chill for about 1 hour, or until the water is very cold but not frozen solid. Make some ice cubes if you don’t already have some.

  • Step 2

    Place an ice cube on a plate, in a bowl, or on a towel

  • Step 3

    Without shaking or disturbing the bottle, carefully open the bottle of water and slowly pour it onto the ice cube. Voila! Instant ice! If you water doesn’t form ice instantly, put the cap back on and return it to the freezer for a little while longer. 

  • Grow ice spikes

    Ice spikes are totally cool, spontaneous spikes that form as small bodies of pure water freeze. Here’s how to encourage them in your own freezer.
    Photo by Edwyn Anderton/flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  • Step 1

    Fill an ice cube tray with distilled or filtered bottled water and place it in a stable position in your freezer

  • Step 2

    After the water has chilled for at least a half hour, place a small electric or battery powered fan in your freezer. Turn the fan on, facing the ice cube tray so that it blows across the top of the water as it freezes. If you want to get fancy, wire up an old computer fan to a 9V battery and clip it inside your freezer. Don’t have a fan? Try nudging your tray close to your freezer’s circulation fan.

  • Step 3

    Close the freezer again, letting the fan run while the water freezes. You may need to use masking tape to make help your freezer door shut if a fan cord is getting in the way. Return an hour or two later to inspect the finished ice cubes – have any of them formed ice spikes?

    Photo by Bob Thistle

  • Learn more

    Learn more about ice spikes in this article on ice spikes from Science Friday.

    Photo by Karen Tuell

  • Build something with ice cubes

    Humans have been building with ice for centuries, why not give it a try? Click the arrow for ideas of things you can build with ice!

    Oberalp Pass – Igloo, photo by Kecko on flickr, CC BY 2.0

  • Idea 1: Ice Jewelry

    Make ice into a frozen necklace by using purchased cocktail ice as beads, or by trying to make your own ice beads or pendants. Pro tip: soldering irons work great for making holes in ice, get creative!

  • Idea 2: Ice building blocks

    Try this: press together the flat sides of two very cold ice cubes firmly until they stick to one another, then return them to the freezer for a bit to harden up. Repeat this process to construct something out of ice cubes!  Learn about the science of ice sculpture in the Science Friday video What’s So Cool About Frozen Water?

  • Idea 3: Ice transit

    Ice blocking (also called ice sledding) uses the slippery surface of large ice blocks for downhill summertime sledding. Try ice blocking or invent a new mode of ice transit… at your own risk!

    This photo of ice blocking was posted to Flickr by Jame Healy, CC BY-SA 2.0

Freeze Challenge Inspiration

Related Segment

Ice Science a Slippery Quandary for Physicists

Related Article

The Mystery of Ice Spikes

Related Segment

Crafting the ‘Fastest Ice on Earth’

Meet the Writer

About Ariel Zych

Ariel Zych is Science Friday’s education director. She is a former teacher and scientist who spends her free time making food, watching arthropods, and being outside.