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Frostbite Theater

Summer Snowflakes

Winter, spring, summer or fall, you can make these snowflakes any time at all!

Announcer: Frostbite Theater presents... Cold Cuts! No baloney!

Joanna and Steve: Just science!

Joanna: Hi! I'm Joanna!

Steve: And I'm Steve!

Joanna: Today, we're going to make a snowflake!

Steve: Now, unfortunately, these aren't real snowflakes.

Which, would be fun.

For your snowflake, though, you want to start off with one of those fuzzy, pipe cleaner things. Take the pipe cleaner and cut it into smaller sections. Take those sections and make kind of a snowflake skeleton out of them. Tie a string to that snowflake skeleton and then set it aside for later.

Joanna: The other things you're going to need are water and borax.

You can use the leftover borax from when we made Oobleck a few years ago. If you haven't watched that video, check out the link in the description below.

The water is going to have to be hot. We took our beaker of water and put it in the microwave until it was boiling. Why does it need to be hot? Because you're able to dissolve more borax in hot water than in cold water.

How much borax? We used about 150 grams of borax to one liter of water. But, you don't really to worry about measuring. Just keep stirring in the borax until it doesn't dissolve anymore.

Steve: Once you have your borax solution, take your snowflake skeleton and suspend it in there. Whatever you tie your snowflake to, though, make sure it's not too round or too flimsy. Your snowflake is going to gain mass as time goes on and you really don't want your snowflake kind of unspooling and coming to rest at the bottom of the container.

Then, you need to be patient. For us, we left the snowflake in the solution for about 18 hours. But, when we came back...

Joanna: Ta-da!

Steve: We had this!

Joanna: Thanks for watching! I hope you'll join us again soon for another experiment!

Steve: So, too bad we couldn't make a real snowflake.

Joanna: Yeah.

Wait! Liquid nitrogen!

Steve: Oh, you're right! We could have done it with liquid nitrogen.

Joanna: Next time.

Steve: Yep, yep. Sorry.

We missed an opportunity. Next time.

Joanna: Oobleck.

Steve: Ten year old Oobleck!

It's been ten years...

Joanna: It's still slimy.

Steve: ...since we did Oobleck!

Leftover borax, leftover Oobleck

Joanna: Nice!

Have leftover borax you don't know what to do with? Why not make some Oobleck! Watch this video to learn how!

Citation and linking information

For questions about this page, please contact Carol McKisson.