Make Crystal Snowflakes From Borax | Fizzics Education

Crystal Snowflakes

Crystal Snowflakes

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

Adult Help

Two Cups of hot water, roughly 250ml.

4 Teaspoons of Borax, you can find this in the laundry section of your supermarket.

A piece of string of about 10cm in length.

One Popsicle stick

Several pipe-cleaners

Scissors

Make a borax snowflake science experiment - materials needed
1 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - star shape made from a pipecleaner

Twist several pipe-cleaners together into the shape you want your crystal to be, we suggest shaping it into a snowflake.

2 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - hanging a star shae pipecleaner from a ice cream stick

Tie one end of the piece of string onto the pipe-cleaners you have twisted together.

3 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - position of pipecleaner star in cup

Tie the other end of the string onto the Popsicle stick.

4 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - pouring in hot water

With care, and a parent’s help, pour 250mL of hot water into a cup and add four teaspoons of borax into the water.

5 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - pouring in saturated borax solution

Stir the borax and water mixture until the borax is completely dissolved.

6 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - pipecleaner star immersed in borax solution

Suspend the pipe-cleaners, the ones you have shaped earlier, borax solution from the string and pipe-cleaner. Make sure that the pipe-cleaner does not touch the sides of bottom of the cup.

And wait, for two or three days.

7 Make a borax snowflake science experiment - finished for Christmas

Over the next two or three days you should see your Borax Crystal forming on the pipe-cleaner.

After two or three days remove the crystal from the solution.

Why Does This Happen:

The borax can only stay dissolved while the water is hot. When the water cools the solution becomes supersaturated, which is unstable. As the solution cools down further, less and less borax can remain dissolved and so they form crystals on the pipe-cleaners, which acts as a seeding crystal.
A supersaturated solution is a solution that has more material dissolved in it then it would normally allow.

Further Information:

The longer it takes to form a crystal, the larger the crystal will be.
This works whether you are talking about crystal growing kits, making liquid nitrogen ice-cream or gemstones!
Check out the link on crystals formed by volcanoes; Indianapolis Childrens Museum

Learn more!

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