Make Crystal Snowflakes From Borax | Fizzics Education

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# Crystal Snowflakes

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

• 2 Cups of hot water, roughly 250ml.
• 4 Teaspoons of Borax, you can find this in the laundry section of your supermarket.
• 1 piece of string of about 10cm in length.
• 1 Popsicle stick
• 4 pipe-cleaners
• Scissors
• 1 measuring cup of water (250mL)
• 1 teaspoon

Wash hands with soap after completing the experimental setup. Borax should not be ingested or brought into contact with eyes.

1

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

The shape needs to be able to fit inside your cup, without touching the bottom or sides. If the shape is not submerged, add extra water and borax in the ratio of 1 teaspoon of Borax for every 60mL of hot water.

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

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.

8

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### Why Does This Happen:

The borax can only stay dissolved while the water is hot. When the water cools the solution becomes supersaturated, which makes the solution unstable. As the solution cools down further, less and less borax can remain dissolved and soÂ it precipitates out of the solution to 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 than 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