cold weather experiments

Frozen Orbeez Sled

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Minnesota, it’s so cold that… if you don’t have a sled, you can make one out of frozen Orbeez. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Two large storage containers that will hold about 8 gallons each
  • One cup of dry Orbeez
  • Two sleds
  • LED Christmas lights with battery back
  • Water
  • Strainer
  • Bricks
  • Hill to sled down
  • Cold weather

Steps:

  1. Measure out 1/2 cup of Orbeez for each container. Add about 7-8 gallons of water to each container.
  2. Let the Orbeez sit overnight to soak up the water.
  3. Use the strainer to scoop the Orbeez into the bottom sled.
  4. Put the second sled on top of the first.  Use the bricks to weight down the top sled.
  5. Wait for the Orbeez to freeze (this will take much longer than you expect).
  6. Bring the sled with the frozen Orbeez to a hill.  Tip it over and pop out the frozen Orbeez sled.
  7. Sled down the hill.
  8. Repeat if it doesn’t break into pieces.

Helpful Hints:

  • Use plenty of LED lights so that if the Orbeez sled breaks, it will still be held together.
  • Make sure that the temperature is very cold so it freezes more quickly.

Minnesota Cold (Part 1 – TAKE 2) Hot Boiling Water in the Air – Off a 7 Story Building

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Minnesota, it’s so cold that… if you throw a pot of boiling water off a seven story building, it vaporizes before it hits the ground. Watch and subscribe to the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: http://www.youtube.com/nziegler . Special thanks to Steve Carlisle for his assistance in this video.

Materials:

  • Pot of boiling water
  • A very high building
  • A really cold day

Steps:

  1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove or on a burner. (You may have to reheat it when you get to the top floor.)
  2. On the roof of a very tall building, carefully approach the edge.
  3. Throw the pot of water off the edge of the building.

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure that it is a building that people do not walk next to. If not all of the water vaporizes, you may burn someone with the boiling water.
  • Have someone watch it from below (not directly below). That’s the best view.

 

 

Minnesota Cold (Part 16) Frozen Flowers

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Minnesota, it’s so cold that… if you forget your flowers outside, they’ll freeze overnight and shatter in the morning. Special thanks to Chicago-Lake Floral in Minneapolis for the donation of the flowers. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Flowers
  • A hard surface outside to shatter the flowers
  • Cold weather

Steps:

  1. Pick up some flowers from the local flower shop.
  2. Set the flowers outside for several hours or overnight.
  3. Smash the flowers on your sidewalk for a great effect.

Helpful Hints:

  • Ask your florist for flowers that they are going to throw out for the weekend (you might get them for free).
  • Flowers that have begun or have already opened, work the best.

Minnesota Cold (Part 15) Human Snowball

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Minnesota, it’s so cold that… you can make a human snowball out of frozen towels and roll it down the hill with someone inside. Special thanks to Hugh Brown for going into the human snowball and  Steve Carlisle for helping shoot some of the video. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Large inflatable ball
  • Thin towels
  • Camping chairs
  • Watering can
  • Knife
  • Large hill
  • Cold temperatures

Steps:

  1. Inflate a large inflatable ball. Start in the house, then move outside.
  2. Cover the ball with layers of wet towels.
  3. Cut a hatch in the towels so you can get in and out.
  4. Pour water over the towels until a thicker layer of ice has formed (about 15 times).
  5. Cut the hatch back open and bring your human snowball to a large hill.
  6. Put someone inside of the human snowball (with a helmet), then cover the hatch with a wet towel.
  7. Push them down the hill and help them get out if the ball doesn’t break.
  8. Repeat if the ball isn’t crushed.

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure it’s really cold. The towels and layers of ice freeze much faster that way.
  • Don’t inflate the ball too much or else it will pop.

Minnesota Cold (Part 14) How to Make Maple Syrup Candy in the Snow

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can make maple syrup candy in the snow. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler

Materials:

  • Tall Pan
  • 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Snow

Steps:

  1. Pour a cup or two of 100% pure maple syrup into a tall pan.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  3. Slowly simmer the syrup until is reaches 235 degrees F (113 C) . This takes about 25 minutes. See the video for how the bubbles change as it nears that temperature.
  4. Bring the pan outside and pour into the snow in long strips.
  5. Lift from the snow and enjoy!

Helpful Hints:

  • Don’t use a short pan. Don’t set the stove to high. (See the video for what happens if you make this mistake.)
  • Make sure the snow is clean.
  • Use 100% maple syrup for best results.

Minnesota Cold (Part 13 – TAKE 2) Frozen Trampoline

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can freeze your trampoline and jump from your garage to break it.  *** Warning. Please do not try this one at home. *** Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

 

Materials:

  • Frozen Trampoline
  • Ladder
  • Garage
  • A Friend who is Willing to Jump Off Your Garage

Steps:

  1. Freeze your trampoline – See Minnesota Cold (Part 13 – Take 1) Frozen Trampoline for instructions on how to freeze your trampoline.
  2. Have your friend put on a helmet and protective gear.
  3. Have your friend climb onto the top of your garage with the ladder.
  4. Say a prayer that he won’t get hurt.
  5. Have your friend jump off of the garage onto the trampoline.

Helpful Hints:

  • Have the trampoline frozen before your friend gets there.
  • Have your friend wear a helmet to stay safe.
  • Tell your friend that they’ll be fine.

Minnesota Cold (Part 13 – TAKE 1) Frozen Trampoline

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can freeze your trampoline. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .


Materials:

  • Trampoline
  • Water Hose
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Take the safety net off of the trampoline.
  2. Wait for it to get cold enough then shovel off the snow.
  3. Hook the garden hose up to your utility sink with an adapter.
  4. Cover the trampoline with a layer of water mist, then let it freeze (bring the hose back inside).
  5. Add a second layer of water to the trampoline.
  6. Jump backwards as high as you can onto the trampoline.

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure to jump with your back to the ice so you don’t cut your face with the ice.
  • Bring the hose inside each time or else it will freeze solid.

Minnesota Cold (Part 12) Making a Snowman Piñata

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can make a piñata with water instead of paste. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • A large bag of candy
  • 3 balloons
  • Paper towels, cut in strips
  • Warm water in a bowl
  • 3 shallow pans or large plates
  • Knife and/or scissors
  • String
  • Marker
  • Baseball bat

Steps:

  1. Blow up the three balloons, making one large, one medium, and one small one.
  2. Dip the strips of paper towel in the warm water and cover the balloons. Use the pans or large plates to catch the water under each balloon. Cover the balloons completely with a layer of paper towels.
  3. Repeat Step 2, this time placing the strips at a perpendicular angle to the first layer of paper towels. When finished, the balloons should have two layers of paper towels.
  4. Set the balloons outside to freeze.
  5. Once frozen, bring the balloons back inside. Cut a rectangular flap on each of them and remove the deflated balloon from inside the frozen paper towels sphere. For the largest sphere, keep the tail of the balloon on it so you can later tie the string to it.
  6. Take a long piece of string and tie it to the end of the largest sphere. Cut two small holes on each end of the other two balloons. String together the spheres so they are stacked in a column of three, looking like a snowman. Leave extra string on the top.
  7. Stuff the parts with candy and cover the openings with more paper towels.
  8. Using a marker, draw on the snowman’s face on the top and smallest balloon. Add doodles.
  9. With the extra string at the top, hang up the snowman piñata. Take the bat and have at it!

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure the balloons are entirely covered with the paper towel strips when coating them.

Minnesota Cold (Part 11) How to Make an Instant Slurpee

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can make your own slurpees outside. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • 2-liter bottle of pop of your choice
  • Knife
  • Cup

Steps:

  1. Set outside the bottle of pop. Put it in the snow to get cold but do not let it begin turning into a solid.
  2. While the pop is still liquid in the bottle, remove the cap while still outside. The liquid should quickly turn into a slushy. The time it takes varies greatly depending on the temperature.  At -10 degrees Fahrenheit on the cement or in the snow, it takes less than an hour and a half to go from room temperature to slurpee.
  3. Bring it inside, let it thaw for a moment, and then cut off the top of the bottle and pour the slushy into a cup.

Helpful Hints:

  • Monitor your pop bottle closely.  Once it begins to ice over, you’ve waited too long.
  • The time it takes for the pop to be ready varies greatly with the temperature. Test it a few times with your current temp before showing the experiment to others.
  • Handle the bottle very carefully. Jarring the bottle early may cause problems with the freezing effect.
  • It does not work well to redo the experiment after the pop has already frozen.
  • To speed up the process, cool it in the fridge first.

Minnesota Cold (Part 10) Watermelon Bowling

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can go bowling outside with a watermelon. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • 10 empty 2-liter bottles
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Watermelon
  • Permanent marker
  • Knife

Steps:

  1. Fill the ten 2-liter bottles with water, then add about five drops of food coloring into the water of the bottles. Put the bottle caps back on. Set all of the bottles outside to freeze.
  2. On your watermelon, mark three dots for finger holes. Cut out the holes with a knife, draining the watermelon as you do so. (Some water will be inside, of course.) Bring the watermelon outside to freeze as well.
  3. Once the water in the bottles are frozen solid and the watermelon is hard, set up your “pins” and go bowling!

Helpful Hints:

  • When cutting the holes for your fingers in the watermelon, keep in mind your finger size with gloves on, so make the holes somewhat larger than you would for your fingers normally.

Minnesota Cold (Part 9) Shooting A Super Soaker in the Cold

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that…you can squirt a Super Soaker water gun and the water vaporizes. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Super Soaker
  • Boiling water
  • A funnel

Steps:

  1. Take the boiling water and, using the funnel, pour it into the Super Soaker.
  2. After bringing the Super Soaker outside, shoot the water into the air and it will turn into vapor.

Helpful Hints:

  • Be careful and make sure to use oven mitts or some sort of gloves when pouring the boiling water into the Super Soaker.
  • Don’t shoot it at other people. The water coming out is still near the boiling point and will burn someone if you are not careful.

Minnesota Cold (Part 8) How to Build an Igloo (Snow Cave or Quinzhee)

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can build an igloo and stand on it by just shoveling a bunch of snow into a pile and hollowing it out. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Shovel
  • A lot of snow

Steps:

  1. Shovel together a large mound of snow. Let it harden for a few hours after making it.
  2. Use the shovel to hollow it out inside, creating an entrance and then taking most of the snow out from inside of the mound. Leave it to freeze for a little while longer.
  3. Once it is frozen solid, go and stand on the igloo! It shouldn’t break.

Helpful Hints:

  • It needs to be quite cold for this to work. Negative temps are ideal.
  • Try to jump on it and break it when you are done.

For additional fun, wire a TV to your Quinzhee and enjoy some hot chocolate outside while watching the Olympics:


Minnesota Cold (Part 7) Shattering A Frozen Shirt Ball

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can freeze a t-shirt into a ball and shatter it against a wall (or at least you can try). This one didn’t work! Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Pot of boiling water
  • Tongs or other utensil
  • Gloves

Steps:

  1. Bring the pot of boiling water outside and dip the t-shirt in the water until it is soaked.
  2. Remove the shirt and wring it out. Roll it into a ball.
  3. Leave it to freeze until it is solid.
  4. Throw it against a wall and watch it shatter.

Helpful Hints:

  • The t-shirt was very hot when I was wringing out, so be sure to be careful.
  • I couldn’t get the t-shirt to shatter, but it still made a good ball. If you managed to get it to shatter, let me know in the comments!

Minnesota Cold (Part 6) Sledding on a Frozen Towel

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can freeze a towel and go sledding on it. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • An old towel
  • 3 large paint cans
  • A bowl of warm water
  • A hill to sled down

Steps:

  1. Dip the old towel in the bucket of water until it is completely wet.
  2. Lay the towel flat on the ground outside.
  3. Set the paint cans adjacently near one end of the towel, and fold the end of the towel over the cans to create a curve when the towel freezes.
  4. Leave the towel until it is frozen solid. Slide the cans out from the towel. Lean the towel-sled against a wall and pour the second bucket of water onto the bottom of the sled to make it slick. Leave it out for a while longer, overnight if you would like.
  5. Find a good snowy hill and head down on your sled!

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure the sidewalk is cleared of snow to make the under-surface more smooth.
  • Your sidewalk will have a patch of ice after dumping the last layers of water over the sled. You may want to do this last step somewhere away from your sidewalk.

Minnesota Cold (Part 5) Breaking a Frozen T-Shirt

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can freeze a t-shirt and break it against a wall. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Large pot of boiling water
  • Tongs or utensil to dip the t-shirt
  • T-shirt

Steps:

  1. Boil a large pot of water.
  2. Take the t-shirt and dip it in the water until it is soaked.
  3. Bring the t-shirt outside, lying it out flat.
  4. Return in a few minutes and pick up the frozen t-shirt. Find a hard surface and break it into pieces!

Helpful Hints:

  • It might be hard to break the t-shirt into pieces, so tear it with your hands or try other ways of breaking it.
  • You can also put it on a hanger to freeze if you don’t have a good place to lay the shirt down.

Minnesota Cold (Part 4) Blowing Frozen Bubbles

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… bubbles freeze when you blow them outside. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Bubbles
  • Really cold weather

Steps:

  1. Blow a generous amount of bubbles outside and watch them freeze!

Helpful Hints:

  • Blow the bubbles near a dark surface so you can see them better when they land.
  • Try to catch the bubbles on your wand so you can watch them crystallize.
  • It works much better if there is no wind.

Minnesota Cold (Part 3) Frozen Hair

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… your hair freezes if you don’t dry it before going outside. I somehow talked my wife into helping me with this one. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • A wet head of hair (or a wife that puts up with your Minnesota Cold antics!)

Steps:

  1. After your shower, forgo the blow dryer or even a towel if you are brave. Make sure your hair is wet. (All the low-maintenance people rejoice.)
  2. Go into the cold outdoors with your wet hair for a minute. Your hair will freeze!

Helpful Hints:

  • Hang upside down for an especially visible outcome.
  • Make sure your wife loves you a lot before asking for help with this one.

Minnesota Cold (Part 2) Pounding a Nail with a Frozen Banana

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can pound a nail with a frozen banana. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Banana
  • Nail
  • Wooden board

Steps:

  1. Take a banana and leave it outside on a cold winter day until it is frozen solid.
  2. Forget about a hammer! Use the frozen banana to pound the nail into the board (or your chosen surface).

Helpful Hints:

  • Pound the nail and not your hand.
  • If you’ve got a large construction project, maybe forget the banana and remember a hammer again.

Minnesota Cold (Part 1) Hot Boiling Water in the Air

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Minnesota – It’s so cold that… you can throw hot water in the air and it vaporizes. Watch and subscribe all of the Minnesota Cold Weather Experiments: www.youtube.com/nziegler .

Materials:

  • Mug
  • Boiling water

Steps:

  1. Fill a mug with boiling water.
  2. Bring the mug outside into cold winter air and throw the water upwards.

Helpful Hints:

  • Make sure to throw the water at an angle to save face. It will burn you if any leftover water lands on you!