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  • Sara Thompson

Experiment with Melting Ice

By Sara Thompson

Special to the Enterprise

Winter is still upon us and with it an icy science experiment that can be done at home. Ice is frozen water and will begin to melt soon after leaving a freezing environment. Are there ways we can speed up the melting process?

Materials needed: small paper cups, water, scissors, muffin tin or other cups, salt, sugar, other materials as needed.


Fill six or more small, paper cups with equal amounts of water. Comparison is best done when the quantities are equal. Place the cups in the freezer for the water to freeze solid. When frozen, use scissors to cut the cups open and place the ice in the muffin tin or other cups.

Use one ice chunk as a control and do not do anything to it. With the others try different methods of melting such as cold water, warm water, boiling water, steam, salt, sugar, etc. Again, try to use similar quantities of the additives when testing the melting. Check on the progress every five minutes and make notes. After an hour or when one whole ice chunk has completely melted you will get a good idea of which method melts ice quicker.

You can repeat this experiment as many times as you would like and test as many safe substances as you would like. It is always best to do home experiments with an adult, especially if one of the melting methods used requires heating water.

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