STEAM Learning Lab – DIY Ice Rink

DIY Ice Rink
Ages 2 and up

This activity is a great opportunity to head outside in the colder temps. The cookie sheet with water can be placed outside at night when temperatures get below freezing. In the morning, you will have everything you need to start your experiment! Kids can have fun getting dressed up in coats, hats and mittens to perform this experiment, which can also be a great way to talk about science careers. While we might imagine that all scientists wear lab coats and goggles there are many different science careers that require different protective equipment!

Materials:

  • Sheet pan or shallow dish
  • Milk caps or similar caps from other household items
  • Freezer or freezing temps outside
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Fill sheet pan or dish up with water
  2. Carefully place outside or in the freezer overnight
  3. Slide milk caps across the frozen surface-what happens?
  4. Optional: Play a game of mini hockey on your frozen surface!

Why does the milk cap slide? Hockey and other ice sports rely on friction! Friction happens when one object slides across another. While friction always slows an object down, it also creates heat! Therefore, when hockey pucks(or our milk caps) slide across an icy surface the heat from the friction causes the ice to melt a little. This makes things slippery and helps the objects move!

More Fun:

  • Check out these cool science careers.
  • Learn more about the physics required to be an excellent hockey player.
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