Medicine Hat News

Head to the kitchen for some snowy fun

- Patty Rooks Science Smarts

As I write this article, there are fluffy flakes of snow gently falling to the ground. This gives me hope that there will be snow for the holiday season.

I do not know about you, but I really do need snow to make it feel like the holidays. Of course, you always need a backup so just in case the temperatur­es rise and melt all of that beautiful fluffy white stuff keep this experiment handy. Let’s get started. *Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


hair conditione­r (white in colour) sodium bicarbonat­e (baking soda) measuring cups container to mix in molds, cookie cutters (optional) glitter (optional)


1. Measure and pour in 750 mL (three cups) of baking soda into the mixing bowl.

2. Add 125 mL (1/2 cup) of conditione­r. Make sure you use a white coloured conditione­r or you will not have white snow.

3. Get in there with your hands and mix it up.

4. Make some observatio­ns. Do you feel anything?

5. At this point you can add glitter to make it sparkle like the snow outside.

6. Take handfuls of the “snow” and make snowmen or use the cookie cutters and make different shapes.

7. If you want to go one step further, you can melt this snowman as well. No, heat will not work, but acetic acid (vinegar) will. Be careful and pour it over slowly.

What is going on?

As you mixed these two simple household ingredient­s together you should have felt it becoming cold in your hands. An endothermi­c reaction is actually occurring here.

If you chose to melt your snowman with the vinegar, this is also a chemical reaction. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda and as a result carbon dioxide gas is formed.

Patty Rooks, Senior Scientific Consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community”. Contact Praxis at, www., Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedH­at, or friend us on Facebook. Phone: 403.527.5365, email: praxis@

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