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Science Investigations that all students should do Before High School, #3: Dry Ice Investigations

#3 Dry Ice Investigations
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and is much colder than frozen water. Because it is so much colder, it can give you a burn if you touch it with your bare skin, so be careful. Gloves only for the little ones! It is so much fun to play with because as it sublimates, it gives off this smokey look...




Put a chunk in a balloon and listen to it squeal as it sublimates...





You might want to measure the circumference of the balloon to see if it has grown.











Drop it in a Pyrex bowl of warm water. Pick up the smoky carbon dioxide in your hands. It will stay there for a few seconds.

 Make the dry ice sing. Put a spoon in a cup of hot water. Take it out and hold it on the dry ice. It will make a squealing noise.

How big is your balloon now?

What investigations can you come up with?
Did you know that the surface of Mars is made up of dry ice?

8 comments:

  1. Dry ice is always on my list - but it scares me just enough I never buy it.

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    1. Thank you for bringing up that point. The students have to be old enough to follow your direction. I made the rule that they could only touch the ice while wearing a glove. They could put the ice in the balloon while wearing a glove and they can safely touch the sublimating carbon dioxide. Otherwise it is just cool to watch and listen to.

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  2. oooh I did not know about the trick of making it "sing" - there is just something about dry ice that brings out my inner child - I always get excited when we come across it - and now, we'll have to make it sing!

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  3. We've used it to make a rather flat Root beer several years ago.

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  4. Dry Ice has always appealed but I don't know where we would get hold of it. Is it something you can buy off Amazon? I'll have to search as these activities look just up my street. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. No, I wouldn't think you could get it through Amazon as it is perishable. It sublimates instead of melting, but think of it like regular ice. We get it at the grocery store.

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  5. Thisiss a great series!

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