Have you ever noticed how the outside of glass sometimes feels wet after you pour a very cold drink into it? Let’s find out why this occurs in this week’s freeze and frost experiment.
Freeze and Frost
Ever wonder how frost works? Why do you wake up to find frost covering your windows on a cold winter morning? In this freeze and frost experiment, we are going to explore condensation and find out why and how frost forms. Before we begin, please take a moment and pin this post to your homeschool science board.
What is Frost?
“Frost is the thin layer of ice that forms on grass, trees, cars, and other things when the weather turns cold.” Why do you think this happens? write down your answer in your Science Journal!
Freeze and Frost Supplies
What you will need:
Pens and Pencils,
Metal Coffee Can with plastic lid (empty, clean and dry, or a small stainless steel mixing bowl, plastic wrap, and a rubber band)
8-10 ice cubes
1/2 cup of salt
Result Timing: 30 minutes
Freeze and Frost Experiment
What to do:
Draw a picture of your coffee can before you do anything, we drew a picture of our pitcher of ice as well. Put the ice cubes into the coffee can. Then pour the salt on top of the ice cubes, and then use the spoon to stir the salt and ice a few times. Put a lid on top of the container, or cover it tightly with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Let the can sit on a table or counter. Check back in 10 minutes then again in 20 minutes and 30 minutes do you see anything happening to the outside of the container?
Here is a sample of how you can form your chart:
10 minutes Water appearing on the outside of the container.
20 minutes Frost beginning to form on the bottom of the can.
30 minutes Frost traveling up the can.
Freeze and Frost Experiment in Action
How The Freeze and Frost Experiment Works
You should see the frost forming on the outside of the container starting at the bottom within about 10-20 minutes. This led Isabella to ask “If the ice cubes are on the inside of the container, why did frost form on the outside of the container?”
It is because of a process called condensation. Even when there’s not a cloud in the sky, there is the water we can’t see called water vapor in the air around us. As the temperature cools, some of that invisible water vapor changes into liquid water that we can see and touch, In our experiment, the ice causes the sides of the container to become much cooler than the air around the container. This cooling caused the water vapor to change into the liquid water where it touched the container and then to freeze, forming a coating of frost.
Have you ever noticed how the outside of glass sometimes feels wet after you pour a very cold drink into it?
It’s not because the drink is leaking through the glass. Instead, since the drink makes the glass cooler than the air around, some of the water vapor in the air condenses turning into liquid water on the outside of the glass.