STEAM Valentines Salt & Ice Experiment

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Well, do break up all our Valentines Day Crafts, how about a little STEAM Valentines Activity? Today we have a great STEAM Valentines Salt & Ice Experiment from Amber at Wee Warhols (it compliments out Valentines Baking Soda Experiment, Valentines Bubble Painting Project and dissolving Valentines Skittle Project wonderfully!). As this is our 4th year of the 31 Days of Love series, we literally have 100s of fantastic Valentines Activities for Kids for you to browse and have grouped them to make it easier for you to take a peak: Valentine Crafts for Preschoolers, Valentine Day Treats, Valentine Decorations and Valentine Cards for Kids!

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Hi, I’m Amber from Wee Warhols. I am a mom and art teacher that loves to share STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) projects with other parents and educators. I’m so excited to share our Valentine’s Day science experiment with Red Ted Art’s readers. It is always fun to incorporate a holiday theme into the science experiments that we do. In appreciation of Saint Valentine and the whole Valentine’s Day celebration, we took the opportunity to study why salt makes ice melt. You may have heard that in freezing temperatures, people sprinkle salt on driveways or roads to help melt the ice or prevent ice from forming. Have you ever wondered why this happens? We did. That is why we conducted an icy heart experiment. We have tested it out in the past a little bit, by using food coloring and water, and granulated salt on ice. Crevasses were made and it was quite beautiful, but ice cream rock salt seemed to really make a difference this time.

Easy STEAM Valentines Activity for Preschool - exploring salt & ice melting

Would you like to conduct your own icy heart experiment?

STEAM Valentines Activity – What you will need:

  • a silicone heart tray ( I found ours at a thrift store) (US/ UK)
  • water
  • red candies or food coloring (US/ UK)
  • Rock Salt (US/ UK)
  • shallow bin to collect melted heart (US/ UK)

Affiliates added for convenience!

STEAM Valentines Activity – What to do:

  1. Mix water with color or candies to dye the heart red.
  2. Freeze over night.
  3. Place icy heart in a plastic bin to collect water if it melts.
  4. Question what will happen. Make a hypothesis.
  5. Pour rock salt on the icy heart.
  6. Listen and look. Observe what happens. Take notes.
  7. Talk about your findings.

STEAM Valentines Activity - Ice and Salt STEAM activity for valentines day

My boys really had fun with this. They poured the rock salt on the icy heart…then poured more on. They looked and listened. If you listen closely, you can hear the ice crackle and melt where the salt touches the ice.

Why does salt melt ice? STEAM Valentines Activity for kids

So, why does salt melt ice? It is all about ions. Salt crystals are made up of chloride ions and sodium ions. When water freezes it becomes a solid. The sodium ion particle in the salt crystal breaks apart the ice and turns it back into a liquid. The chloride ion attaches to the water molecule that breaks free. The water molecules cannot bond back together unless the temperature becomes very cold again. This is why crevasses are created where the salt touches the ice. In short, the ions break up the arrangement of water molecules. Once the water molecules are broken apart, the ice becomes liquid.

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After our science lesson about ions and molecules was over, my boys couldn’t resist breaking out their mallets to smash the icy heart. (If you try this please wear protective eyewear.)

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If you like this Valentine’s Day science experiment, you should check out Secret Valentine’s Day Messages. Here are also some great tips on how to get FREE STEAM Materials for your home or classroom!

Salt & Ice Experiment

Amber is an art teacher who has a process approach to teaching, with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

We have lots of amazing Valentine Crafts for Preschooler ideas for you to browse here:

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