January 2022

Ice Ice Baby - how a story about the Antarctic prompted an investigation into ice.

After reading 'Lost and Found', a group of Reception children wanted to find out more about the South Pole. Our first step was to find information in books and on the internet and our search led us to video about Antarctica. In it, we watched how scientists measured the depth of ice to to test whether it was strong enough to walk on. How strong was ice? It was an interesting question.The group suggested making different thicknesses of ice by freezing containers with water filled to the top, half way or just covering the bottom.

After leaving them overnight, it was time to test how easily the ice could be broken. The thinnest ice didn't even make it out of the container and the ice from the half-full container smashed from a low height. The full depth ice, however, was VERY strong and a drop from around 50cm only chipped the edges. It took a proper throw on the concrete floor to break it into three pieces.

Everyone agreed that there was more to be learned about the ice so we decided to find out how long it would take to melt in different situations. One piece was placed in the sun, another in the shade and the last piece was placed in a bookbag (safely inside a plastic bag, of course). We found that the ice placed in the sun melted in less than an hour, but the piece in the bag was still partly ice at the end of the day. The ice in the shade was still the same size at the end of the day.