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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 2

Disappearing ice cubes

What you need

  • Ice cubes
  • Three identical containers
  • A heater

What you do

  1. Place three ice cubes of the same size into three identical containers.
  2. Place one container on a windowsill in the sun. Place another on or near a heater. And place the third in a cupboard.
  3. Predict which ice cube will melt most quickly.
  4. Observe how quickly each ice cube melts.
  5. Which ice cube melted most quickly? Why?

Investigation 1: Melting moments

What you need

  • A selection of ice cubes:
    • one made from plain water
    • one made from sugary water
    • one made from powdered cordial in water
  • An empty muffin tray or paint tray with separate sections
  • An egg-timer or a clock
  • A recording sheet
  • Paper towels

Test A: Different ice cubes

In this investigation, you can find out whether ice cubes made from different mixtures will melt at different rates. Before you start, think about what must be kept the same for each test. Make sure that the types of ice cube mixture are the only thing different in the test. Keep the following things the same: the size of the ice cubes, the shape and size of the containers, the place where you stand the ice cubes, and the time when you start to let them melt. If all these things are the same, any difference in how quickly the cubes melt will be to do with one thing only: the type of mixture you've used (plain water, sugary water, or powdered cordial in water). Things that you can either change or keep the same in an experiment are called variables.

  1. Work in groups of four.
  2. In each section of an empty muffin tray or paint tray, place one of the ice cubes you have made: a cordial ice cube, a plain ice cube, and an ice cube made from sugar and water.
  3. Each person in the group should now predict which cube they think will melt first. Write all of your group's predictions on the recording sheet.
  4. Every three minutes draw what you observe. After you've finished the experiment, answer the following questions:
    • Which block melted in the shortest time?
    • Whose prediction was correct?
    • Why do you think there are differences in the melting time?
Recording sheet
   Plain ice cube  Sugar and water ice cube  Cordial ice cube
 Predict which cube will melt first      
 Picture of the ice cube after 3 minutes      
 Picture of the ice cube after 6 minutes      
 Picture of the ice cube after 9 minutes      
 Picture of the ice cube after 12 minutes      

ExtensionActivities (Word 28KB)

Published on: 09 Jan 2018