Science Explorers
Science Explorers

What makes ice melt? Investigate this question with these fun ice-melting experiments for kids! Challenge your kids or class to make predictions, melt ice as fast as possible, record their findings and apply what they learned to real-life examples like the melting of glaciers and icebergs.

Why Should You Do an Ice-Melting Experiment for Children?

Ice-melting experiments are a great way to educate kids about the effect glaciers and icebergs melting have on ocean levels and the impact on the environment. The Greenland ice sheet is the second-largest body of ice on the planet. As it melts due to climate change, it causes the earth’s ocean levels to rise rapidly. Scientists are working to accurately predict the melting rate to slow and eventually reverse the process.

We recommend that you ask your kids or class to investigate this topic further after the experiments.

1. What Makes Ice Melt Quicker?

In this experiment, you can let your students or kids investigate what solids make ice melt faster. You’ll need:

  • Ice cubes
  • Muffin trays
  • Several solids, including salt, sugar, baking soda, dirt and sand
  • Labels
  • Timer

How to Conduct the Experiment

Follow these steps to experiment with what makes ice melt quicker:

  1. Add four to five ice cubes to each segment of your muffin tray. Ensure there is an equal amount in each. Ask the children to guess what will melt the ice faster.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of the solids to the separate segments of the tray. Keep the last row of the tray without solids to act as a control. Make sure you label each segment with the solid that you’ve added.
  3. Set the timer to check the cubes every 10 minutes and have the kids record what they observe. Have them report back and draw conclusions on their findings.

Experiment Notes

Kids will discover that adding salt is the quickest way to melt ice, followed by baking soda. While baking soda contains salt, it’s a powder. Discuss why salt works best by explaining how it lowers the freezing point and interferes with re-forming ice crystals as the water thaws.

2. How Fast Can You Melt Ice?

This experiment tests which of your students or kids can melt ice cubes the fastest. You’ll need:

  • Ice cubes
  • Dark and light cardboard
  • Heat source (use the sun in the summer)
  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • Cloth
  • Plates

How to Conduct the Experiment

To complete this experiment, follow these steps:

  1. Give the kids some time to brainstorm and strategize.
  2. Give each kid or small group a plate of ice cubes and ask them to melt the ice as quickly as possible using the available materials.
  3. Once there’s a winner, ask each child or team to share their melting process and why they chose it.
  4. Discuss the most effective method and why it worked. Did anyone use dark paper because it retains heat to melt the ice? Ask the kids to reflect on what they would do differently.

Experiment Notes

As an added interesting extra, ask the kids to investigate when the ice melts or freezes. Water’s melting and freeze ing point is 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Science Summer Camps and After-School STEM Clubs

Science Explorers proudly offers fun after-school and summer science programs for kids in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. We love to empower and stimulate young minds with practical experiments, helping kids between the ages of 4 and 11 cultivate a lifelong passion for science. We make learning about science fun for everyone.

Learn more about our Summer STEM Camps and After-School STEM Clubs.

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