ICE BLOCK EXCAVATION
In this fun and easy excavation activity, we’re going to use science to cut a block of ice and discover the awesome items we have hidden inside.
- Two bolts about three inches long
- 18 inches of thin wire
- Large plastic container
- Freezer (make sure your container will fit in your freezer)
- Block of wood or cutting board
- Items to excavate. Little plastic marine animals are awesome but you can add whatever you want for your Excavating Adventurer to discover!
- Optional - food coloring
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- Fill the container about a quarter of the way full with water and add a few of your excavation items.
- Optional - Add a drop or two of food coloring.
- Place in the freezer an hour or two until the water freezes.
- Add another layer of water and excavation items.
- Optional - Use different colors of food coloring for each layer for a really cool effect!
- Freeze for another hour or so. Continue this layering until the container is full and frozen into one solid block.
- Tie one end of wire to each bolt.
- Set the ice cube on the wood block. You may need to run warm water on the outside of the container to get the ice block to slide free.
- Center the wire on the ice cube and use the bolts as handles to push down on the ice cube.
- The wire will begin to cut into the ice cube.
- As the wire goes through the ice cube, you will notice that the cut begins to refreeze back together.
- Encourage your Excavating Adventurer to continue using the wire as a excavation tool to cut out and discover items. Other tools can be incorporated and warm water can also be used to speed up the excavation process.
- Frozen water has an unusual property of melting under pressure which allows the wire to slice through the ice block.
I hope you enjoyed this super quick tutorial and had fun creating your own Ice Block Excavation to investigate and explore. These excavations are very easy to make and a lot of fun!
Pro tip: Use this activity to create some excitement around discussions or lessons about science, STEM, experiments, and more!
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