Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Well we certainly are. However, we were shocked to learn that even someone as old as Mrs Smith has only ever experienced 2 or 3 white Christmases (and these weren’t even always on Christmas Day itself!) So, we were tasked with finding out how real snow forms, how ski resorts make snow artificially for bare slopes and then discussed what makes the BEST snow (for snowballs, skiing, snowmen and the like). Knowing our climate rarely comes up trumps and not being able to afford the equipment they use in ski resorts, we then set about investigating which of a range of white material solids, when mixed with a liquid, would tick most of the boxes for making the best fake snow.
We were surprised to find that powdery baby talc and water froze hard then melted to the consistency of cream cheese! The pure white flour went grey and dough like. Toilet paper looked tatty and did not form into balls. The best recipe for making fake snow was in fact…DRUM ROLL…baking soda and hair conditioner! It was powdery, felt cold to touch, looked pretty, was pure white and could be moulded into balls, igloo or snowmen shapes.
Once we knew what we needed to make the finest fake snow, we measured out the ingredients to make two huge bowls of the stuff. We designed Winter Wonderlands which we then created on sandwich platters and finished by moulding and shaping our various snow features. Gloves were essential at this stage as the baking soda can irritate skin.
How thrilled we were with our very own white Christmas scenes and our great learning during Festive Science Day 2020!