Today’s STEAM Activity is Fishing for Ice Cubes! My kids love going fishing in our local lake with their dad. When I told them we could fish at home, they didn’t believe me, but we had fun with this easy at home activity!
- Fill your bowl about 3/4 full with water, then add ice cubes covering the top of the water
2. Cut a ~12” long piece of string
3. Place the end of your string in the ice water and try to catch a piece of ice, what happens?
4. Now place the end of the string in the ice water on top of some ice cubes
5. Sprinkle on some salt and let sit for a few seconds (this is like casting your line and waiting for a bite)
6. After 5 to 10 seconds waiting try lifting out the string, did you catch any ice cubes this time?
STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:
- Science: Water freezes at 32 deg F, adding salt significantly lowers the freezing point. This means when we add salt it starts to melt the ice, but since we used a small amount of salt the water refreezes quickly. The string is trapped in the freezing water, making it stuck to the ice.
This activity amused my kids to no end. We did it over, and over, and over again…that is until my daughter started eating the salty ice cubes! Then I decided it’s time to move on. 😉
I hope you try this activity and enjoy it as much as we did!
How to relate this activity with STEAM
Please see the STEAM Concepts learned section above where I share the science behind why the salt makes the ice cubes attach to the string. The salt starts to melt the ice cubes, but they refreeze onto the string.