Paper Snowflake Crystal Ornament Science Project
Use common household items to grow crystals for a sparkly snowflake ornament. First, make a super-saturated solution. A solution is a liquid (solvent) with a solid (solute) mixed into it. Our solution is super-saturated because no more of the solid (solute) can be mixed in even when heated; it’s reached saturation. Crystals form as it cools.
What You Need:
- filter paper (or coffee filters)
- Borax (sodium tetraborate)
- glass measuring cup (or a 600 ml beaker)
- spoon or skewer
- petri dish or deep plate
- fishing line or ribbon
What You Do:
- Make a supersaturated solution of Borax and water by having an adult help you use the microwave to heat about 200 ml of water until boiling. Use caution when removing the glass from the microwave, because it will be hot! Mix in teaspoons of Borax until no more will dissolve. Allow the solution to cool.
- If you’re using a petri dish, use it as a template to cut your filter paper (or coffee filter) down to size so it will fit inside. Then fold the paper in half 2-3 times and snip the edges thinking about where the cuts will appear when you unfold it. You may want to practice on scratch paper first and figure out where to cut to come up with a snowflake design that you’re happy with.
- Unfold your snowflake and place it in the petri dish (or on the plate) and carefully pour the supersaturated Borax solution over the snowflake, making sure it’s completely immersed.
- Let the snowflake sit in the solution for an hour or longer until it’s covered in crystals. Pour off the extra solution (rinse it down the sink drain with hot water) and use a butter knife to carefully remove the snowflake. Place it on paper towels to dry. You may need to use a toothpick to knock crystals out of the snowflake’s holes.
- Once it’s dry, feed fishing line or ribbon through the snowflake, tie the ends, and hang it on your tree. Or if it’s a gift, gently wrap it up for Christmas!
Note: Borax can be irritating to skin, so make sure you wash your hands after doing this project.