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Winter STEM / STEAM Activities Using Snow

It’s February…. Typically, in Utah, that means 50 degrees. This year missed the memo. I know we aren’t the only ones with a surplus of snow. I figured instead of wishing away the day, pining for warmer weather… We may as well put the snow to work. This post is a compilation of fun S.T.E.M. (or) S.T.E.A.M.  activities you can try with your class. I’ll give you a brief rundown, but if you are looking for more information or directions make sure to click on the link for the original author! Hopefully, these activities will help to chase away the winter-blues or winter-crazies. Literally, I’m going crazy. #cabinfever.

Stem and Steam graphic organizers that work with any challenge or experiment. Great for scaffolding students and setting them up for success.

Also you might be interested in my STEM / STEAM Graphic Organizers. These were created to be your one-stop-print-shop and go pages for ANY STEM or STEAM experiment or challenge. My issue with anything Stem in my classroom was the chaos and the disappointment at the end when I felt there was literally no educational takeaway. These graphic organizers are really great because they make the student, stop, think, plan, and relate. There is absolutely value in free play, but there is also value in scaffolding. The reflection page is my FAVORITE. If you want to see a full preview, or would like to purchase, click here. 

If you would like to read more about them, check out this blog post!

     

1. Make a Snow Volcano:

 

Now Before you roll your eyes at the suggestion of a #classic volcano…. I think there are some real learning opportunities here. First of all, if you teach states of matter or physical/chemical changes… there is a lesson, a GREAT discussion here.  Second, this is one of those find the ingredients in your kitchen the day of type of activity. Last of all, I feel like you can take this a step further! Challenge your students to create or design a mechanism that will add the vinegar to the mixture instead of just dumping the vinegar into the cup by hand and watching the chemical reaction.

The design process can all be thought out and tested inside with water or something else, then actually put to the test outside in the snow. Another thought would be to have the students design a way to get one substance into the other substance without holding the up in their hands.  *****I can’t think of a simpler, less messy, less clean-up type of environment to do the #classic Volcano experiment, than in the snow.

2. Snowball Launcher

Love this simple and cute idea for a snowball launcher. Students would have a blast designing and making adaptions to their launcher. I would then go outside and put them to the test with the simple challenge of creating something that will launch a snowball. If you want to take it a step further, I would do a follow-up activity where students have free reign on designing a snowball launcher. I’m thinking catapult/slingshots/rockets… 😀 A couple of things to keep in mind with this assignment. Try and keep the size of the snowball students are asked to launch consistent throughout. You could use a cookie scoop to help measure and ping pong balls for practice…. There are even actual snowball molds that would work! For those of you not living in the arctic Tundra, these pretend Snowballs could be a fun replacement or the simple Styrofoam balls you can find at any craft store.  Give students the simple challenge of creating a launcher that can throw a snowball the furthest, or take it another step and add a target for accuracy!

The following videos are to spur inspiration for distance/accuracy launchers

  • Pole Launcher
  • Catapult
  • Snowball Slingshot with Benedict Cumberbatch and Ellen… You’re welcome.
  • Snowball Launcher

Preserve snowflakes using inexpensive glass slides, and hairspray!

3. Observing Snowflakes on Construction Paper

I remember doing this for the first time in Middle School. I understand why you would think this is an activity meant for younger grades, but I REMEMBER doing this. There are few things in life that really cause you to stop and ponder like observing individual snowflakes. This activity is filled with beauty and is awe-inspiring. When adding a stem spin to the activity, I think it could be fun to challenge students with prepping for the process. What do they need, what should the do, to be the most successful in this activity. For instance, can they come to the same conclusion that black paper or a dark paper with the most contrast in color will allow them to see the flakes the best? Will any of them think to freeze the paper, or keep the paper outside until it is cold to prevent the flakes from melting before you can observe them. Is there a design that will allow a higher quantity of flakes?…etc.

Want to take it a step further….. with a few inexpensive glass microscope slides and some cold hairspray, you can actually “preserve” the snowflake, and save its imprint! Click here for more on this activity. 

Also if you teach symmetry, this is a great lesson to integrate it into!

5. Design a Cooler

Super excited about this idea! Came to me this morning while I was trying to think of some fun ways to utilize all.this.snow. in the classroom! Give your students the challenge of creating a cooler that can keep snow from melting the longest. IF  you teach conductors or insulators this is an AWESOME activity to demonstrate insulators… Which if you’re like me, I did a great job demonstrating and explaining conductors, but I wish I would have thought of this sooner to explain insulators. 

I would do this by giving each student the same box or type of box. Shoe boxes are a great option, gift wrapping boxes, cheap Tupperware from the dollar store, or even cardboard shipping boxes that were mailed to the school. Check with your school’s secretary! Do your best to ensure each group or student has a box of similar material and makeup.

Again this is one of these activities that really lends itself to these STEM Graphic organizers I created. They are meant to be a guide that helps prompt the students to think deeply about the challenge at hand.

Students explore which materials are good conductors and which objects are not.

Next allow them to go wild with newspaper, magazines, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, masking tape, styrofoam, tinfoil, cotton balls, plastic wrap, balloons..etc! You could even use my static electricity activity and have students narrow down which materials would work best in their design!

You can give students free rein, limit their choices or use of materials to only 3 selections, limit the amount of each material, or even limit the weight or size of the end design.

When it comes to measuring and collecting data, make sure you take precautions about getting the same amount of snow in each cooler to start. Have the students decide what this will look like. Guide them to weigh the snow in the same container, even record starting temperature, start outside with snow placement then move inside..etc. Again if you don’t live in the never-ending winter zone, you could always freeze ice cubes of the same weight/ amount of liquid and test those in the coolers. Make sure to discuss with the class how, when, where, what time you will add the snow to the cooler. How often will you collect data? How will you know if a cooler is working or not? Is it possible to assign a numerical value to a successful cooler. **You could weigh the remaining amount of frozen snow after a certain amount of time, the “heaviest” could be concluded as the most successful….

**I would start this experiment in the morning, that way you have adequate time to collect data and record findings throughout the day. You could put a student in charge to record data every 10 minutes for an hour and then switch. By an hour you should have a good idea of what’s working and what’s not.

If you try this one out… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tag me and let me know how it went! 

6. Snow Density 

I love the idea from Lemon Lime adventures of creating a winter-themed density jar. I’m wondering if you could take it a step further and have students experiment with the density of snow, water, and solid ice! Check out this article from Science Friday discussing the density of snow. I also loved this process from Little Bins for Little Hands used for adding each liquid.

7. Tissue Paper and Snow Art Project

I LOVE this art project by Fireflies and Mudpies! Click on the link for directions and more information! This project is perfect for S.T.E.A.M. in the classroom. This project serves well for a discussion on states of matter. This is another project that costs nearly nothing in materials, however, the end result is beautiful and fun.

I would love to experiment with these. Adding fun zentangle designs using a bold black marker before or after the snow would be fun. I would also love to know what would happen if you used a crayon on the page before adding the tissue paper or snow. Would it react similar to an easter egg, or would the color soak through? Either way, your students are left with a beautiful and fun piece that utilizes the snow!

8. Frozen Bubbles

How amazing is this? To my understanding in order to have success with this activity the colder the better outside. Also, you will be better off taking a DIY approach to the bubble solution than sticking with store-bought. A great recipe and explanation of what is happening as well as ideas to create your own bubble wands using pipe cleaners can be found here!

               

 

9. Snow Ice Cream

I feel like because it’s snow, and it’s ice cream, and technically you are doing some measuring… It totally counts as STEM. You could add another layer by having them create a container to mix the substance in, or add salt and discuss how salt actually drops the freezing level… Still a concept/ chemical change that completely blows my mind. Also if you haven’t made this…. Do IT. This is #childhood, and it’s also surprisingly delicious! Click on the title link for a step by step of this SIMPLE recipe. Literally, we’re talking 4 ingredients you can find in your kitchen at ANY time.

10. Sugar on Snow: Snow Candy

Watch out Laura Ingalls Wilder fans! Last, but not least…. SNOW CANDY. This one takes me straight back to childhood. I should have known I’d always be a foodie, my most memorable parts of childhood literature tend to be associated with food. Mostly sweets. Turkish Delight = Lion Witch Wardrobe, Chocolate Frogs, Butter Beer…etc = Harry Potter, Snow Candy = Home on the Prairie. Literally, I can remember reading this in 4th grade:

“Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams onto the snow.”
– Little House in the Big Woods

***Couple notes: Make sure you use REAL Maple Syrup, not the Maple Flavored corn syrup in disguise. If not you will end up with a gooey mess that won’t take its shape. Real Maple syrup can be expensive…. look into the process of getting one container and you’ll understand why! The most affordable real Maple Syrup I’ve come across is the Kirkland brand found at Costco! This is also a great option. 

Get the actual recipe used in the book by clicking here!

If you’re looking for a more detailed tutorial, click here!

 

 

Can’t wait to see what you do! If your looking for more ideas or would like to share your own ideas please join our member-only  Teaching on Lemon Lane Facebook Group!

I hope you enjoy the activities listed, I would LOVE to hear from you and how they go. Nothing brightens my day like being tagged in your classroom work on Instagram! Happy Teaching!

To stay up-to-date on new blog posts, freebies, exclusive promo codes, and sales… Join the Teaching on Lemon Lane Community! Pick any or all of the following to stay in the loop of all things Teaching on Lemon Lane. 

If you enjoyed this PLEASE SHARE! Sharing on Pinterest, Facebook, or tagging on Instagram is a simple, yet wonderful way to support the efforts of Teaching on Lemon Lane!

 

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“The influence of your personal testimonies is ever so far-reaching. The Lord instructed: “The testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 62:3). He also cautioned us: “With some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man” (D&C 60:2). You never know when your turn will come to comply with the admonition of Peter to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).”
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Thomas S. Monson
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I’ve complied my FAVORITE inexpensive gift ideas for Father’s Day and created FREE printables for you to complete the gift! These are perfect and practical for the men in your life, and work great as a gift for the entire ward! -
What did your Ward do for Father’s Day this year?
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“I know the love of God. It is one of the very few things I do know with absolute certainty. I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God’s trust, God’s love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us able to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality. We have to be real ourselves and not dependent on externals. If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or that will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others’ agency, and of living in a lawful universe that allows creation of a habitable planet only when it allows also the difficulties that come in natural operations of such a planet.”
-Francine R. Bennion
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“Now all this suffering might indeed be unfair if everything ended at death, but it doesn’t. Life is not like a one-act play. It has three acts. We had a past act, when we were in the premortal existence; and now we have a present act, which is mortality; and we will have a future act, when we return to God. … We were sent into mortality to be tested and tried [see Abraham 3:25]. … “Our past and present sufferings cannot, as Paul said, ‘be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ [Romans 8:18] in the eternities. ‘For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory.’ [D&C 58:4.] So tribulation is useful in the sense that it is helpful to get into the celestial kingdom”
-James E. Faust
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Reflecting on Father’s Day... it’s incredible to me that the Supreme Creator of the Universe chooses to be addressed as “Father”...
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. “Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend and, ultimately, a perfect being.” Robert L. Backman
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For whatever reason, I’ve had this false idea in my mind that when you are on the Lord’s errand, a path paved in smooth simplicity would be laid out before you… This simply isn’t the case. Consider Nephi’s path and the bumps and stumbling blocks placed in his way… Consider Abinadi and his ultimate sacrifice of meekness and obedience… Consider Joseph Smith and the reestablishment of the early Church… Now consider Alma the younger and his dealings with Ammoniahah… Looking ahead, look what happens to Amulek once he finally decides to “Know” the Gospel.

It’s so interesting to me that when the angel is sent to Alma to lift him up and send him back to Ammoniahah a key detail that in my mind would have eased Alma’s mind is left out. Notice how the angel made no mention of Amulek. There is no mention of comfort that someone has been prepared for you, and is waiting for you. Instead, Alma acts “speedily” not knowing what he will do, ACTING in faith, hoping that the Lord will provide a way.
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To me this illustrates the idea of the Lord’s hand cautiously guiding us even when we can’t see it. I’ve seen this concept in my own life, however, it isn’t until I have the hindsight of the future to look back and realize his hand was there all along. There is something to choosing to act on our own. Heading in the right direction, even though we don’t know how we will be delivered, having faith that we WILL be delivered.
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“Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load... [...]Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness... [...] Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” Excerpts from Bear Your Burdens with Ease, -Bednar ...

With there being a focus on Missionary work this week for Come Follow Me, and the fact that it isn’t always rosy… I thought a good addition to the lesson would be to write a letter to a missionary. Maybe this is a family member, a ward member, or someone new entirely, but a message from home can be an easy way to show support for those serving in the mission field. To help with this activity I created a fun and editable missionary letter template. The template should simplify the writing process and take the guesswork out of what to write. You can either type directly onto the slide, and print or email. Or you can begin by printing a hard copy and writing directly onto the page.

Use this with your family, your students, the primary, or young men| young women! This works great as a zoom call activity or fun activity at home! I’ve also included a link to inkablinka.com where Kristin has uploaded some awesome printables going over missionary letter dos and donts!
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Highlighting one of my most treasured scriptures this week. President Bednar said it best: “Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us. There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice (see Alma 34:14), He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” ...

To help you with your study this week, I’ve created a printable with all of the questions posed in chapter 5. (Around 50!) For me, this gives me something concrete, that I can hold, look at, and mark up. You will notice that many of the questions aren’t as simple as a yes and no, similar to many of the questions asked in Come Follow Me. I’ve left a space next to each question for you to use as you wish. Yes, it could be a place for a checkmark, but the more I grow, the more I learn that this is not a checklist Gospel. Rather, it’s growth, progression, and all about movement whether that be forward or backward. I wonder if you may even choose to “check” one of the questions that you choose to further study, ponder, or focus on for the week.
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I’d love to hear how you use this personal inventory, and any takeaways you have. Don’t forget to share this post with a friend!
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Recently I was asked to share my thoughts on the Come Follow Me program during the past few months for the LDS Website in the UK. @churchofjesuschrist -
Frankly speaking the invitation made me a little sick. My biggest fear is that it would seem like we were the perfect little family with the perfect little program in place, complete with cutouts and crafts, deep discussions and daily reflection....
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This couldn't be more from the truth. Yes, I do a weekly round up of ideas and resources for Come Follow Me that I publish on my website, but that doesn't mean that it always happens within my own home. When it does happen it typically looks like a bedtime story, or a video played while the kids eat lunch... When it does happen I often fall asleep while trying to catch up on last week’s reading... Most of all, when it does happen, I notice a difference within my home. This program is divinely inspired, the simple timing of everything amplifies it's divine origin to me. -
Art by @_thecoloramber one of the most beautiful illustrations of a family I've ever laid eyes on. Words fall short on this piece. It's my absolute favorite.
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You can read the article here:
https://uk.churchofjesuschrist.org/come-follow-me-during-lockdown?lang=eng-gb
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This quote stopped me in my tracks... Make sure to head to the website for this week’s Round up of FREE Come Follow Me Resources! This week’s lesson is based on @comefollowmefamily AWESOME idea to use bubbles and balloons to teach about pride. AND @davidbowmanart released another FREE Sample video from his Drawn In, Come Follow Me monthly subscription that I know you are going to LOVE! His videos are wonderful and go beyond just a retelling of the story by diving deep into application in a language the whole family can enjoy! This is the ONLY paid subscription I use for #comefollowme Head to the website now for all of this, a coupon code, and MORE! -
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What are your takeaways from Come Follow Me this week? Do me a favor and spread the love by sharing this post or tagging a friend in the comments!
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By now we all know I love all things Lemon... Lemonade is not exception. ESPECIALLY a good tart Lemonade like @chickfila Did you know you could buy it by the Gallon??? Stay tuned... FREE Father’s Day Printable Gift Tags and a list of well received/ inexpensive gift ideas to accompany them! Whether your looking to outfit the entire ward, or just a thoughtful gift for a few of your favorite men, this post will highlight some fun ideas! -
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COMMENT BELOW: What are some of your favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday
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“And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God” (Mosiah 27:25–26).
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”Conversion is a process, not an event. Conversion comes as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior. These efforts include exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of sin, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. Although conversion is miraculous and life changing, it is a quiet miracle. Angelic visitations and other spectacular occurrences do not bring conversion. Even Alma, who saw an angel, became converted only after he “fasted and prayed many days” for a witness of the truth (Alma 5:46). And Paul, who saw the resurrected Savior, taught that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Corinthians 12:3).”
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Excerpt from LDS.org
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”Our behavior is nothing more than a reflection of the depth of our conversion to Jesus Christ." Ed J. Pinegar
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What has your behavior shown today of your conversion to Jesus Christ?
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Let’s talk FATHER’S Day... I’m getting ready to add a post on my favorite inexpensive gift ideas for #fathersday along with FREE & Thoughtful printables to complete the gift. So help me out... what are your FAVORITE ideas for budget friendly, visiting teaching friendly, give every man in the ward friendly GIFT IDEAS???
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Comment Below 💛🍋💛🍋
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This week in #comefollowme has me thinking a lot about the ripple effects of our choices. Consider the #rippleeffects of your Covenants. What about the ripple effect of Abinadi’s brave stand, or the ripples caused by Alma’s conversion. What choices are you making today, what ripple effect will they have tomorrow? ...

“What is the source of such moral and spiritual power, and how do we obtain it? The source is God. Our access to that power is through our covenants with Him. A covenant is an agreement between God and man, an accord whose terms are set by God (see Bible Dictionary, “Covenant,” 651). In these divine agreements, God binds Himself to sustain, sanctify, and exalt us in return for our commitment to serve Him and keep His commandments.”
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Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE, featured #comefollowme resources.
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