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  • Sara Thompson

Make a Snowstorm in a Jar

Updated: Feb 7

By Sara Thompson

Special to the Enterprise

 

Wintertime brings rain to our area each year, but for many places in the world, winter brings snowstorms instead. This experiment can make it seem like you have a snowstorm right in your home.


Materials needed: tall jar, white paint, warm water, baby oil, glitter, and Alka-Seltzer tablets, a tray for easy clean up.


In case of spills, place your jar on a tray. First, mix the white paint and warm water, stir gently until fully mixed and the water is white. You want enough water and paint mixture to fill around ¼ of your jar. Next, fill the tall jar around ¾ full of baby oil. Add the paint and water mixture to fill the remining space in the jar, do not mix. Then add your glitter and allow it to fully settle. While waiting for everything to settle, break the Alka-Seltzer tablets into pieces. When the solution is settled, add a piece of the tablet and observe what happens.


Oil and water do not mix. The water and paint mixture is more dense than oil and will sink to the bottom of the jar. When a piece of the Alka-Seltzer tablet is added, it begins to create carbon dioxide bubbles. These bubbles will rise to the surface, bringing some of the paint solution with it. When the gas bubble bursts at the surface, the paint solution will again sink to the bottom of the jar. Does the experiment work better with larger or smaller pieces of the tablet? Does the temperature on the outside of the jar feel different throughout the experiment?

 

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  • Explorit is open Fridays from 1-4pm and Saturday and Sundays from 10am-2pm. The current exhibit is “Our WILD World”. Admission is $5 per person, free for Explorit Members and those aged 2 and under.

  • Now is a great time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow: https://www.explorit.org/donate

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·       Spring school programming book up fast so call now. For more information, please visit https://www.explorit.org/programs. To reserve call (530) 756-0191.

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