Fun stuff to do

Catch a snowflake and keep it forever





Snowflakes are among nature’s most beautiful and short-lived creations. Yet there is a way to preserve these fragile wonders to study or admire them anytime you wish. You and a group of your friends can do this project with about $20 worth of supplies available at any art store. (And you’ll need a snowstorm.)

What You’ll Need:

  • Two sheets of clear acetate (available in single sheets or in packages) for each person
  • “Crystal Clear” acrylic coating (a spray-on plastic artists use to protect illustrations)
  • Pieces of cardboard large enough to cover each acetate sheet
  • Two clothespins per person
  • Enough cardboard boxes or empty coolers to cover all the cardboard sheets

What You’ll Do:

snow1.jpgStep 1: Stash the acetate and cardboard sheets in the freezer. Turn the box or cooler upside down outdoors. Place can of acrylic outside to cool.

snow2.jpgStep 2: Once it starts to snow, take the acetate and cardboard from the freezer and head outside. Duck under a porch or overhang to protect everything from falling snow. With clothespins, fasten a single sheet of acetate to a piece of cardboard. Spray the acetate sheet with a thin coat of acrylic from the air-chilled can. (If you use too much, the snow will melt in the liquid.)

snow3.jpgStep 3: Hold up the contraption by the clothespins and step out in the falling snow so that individual flakes collect on the acetate sheet. You’ll want a lot, but not so many that they begin to fall on top of one another.

snow4.jpgStep 4: Once you have enough, carefully tuck the sheet under the cardboard box or cooler.

snow5.jpgStep 5: After an hour, the snowflakes that stuck to the acetate will have evaporated, leaving behind perfect acrylic replicas. Hold the acetate up to a light and scan the sheet with a magnifying glass or an 8X slide viewer. You may also project the crystalline images onto a screen with an overhead projector.

FROZEN FACTS

  • Snowflakes form when water vapor freezes around tiny bits of dust in the air. No dust, no snowflakes.
  • Scientists have identified 10 types, including graupel (granular) flakes, as well as sleet and hail. The other seven varieties are the more familiar crystal shapes.
  • No two snowflakes are alike? In the mid-1980’s, a scientist found snowflakes that were extremely similar 20,000 feet in the air above Wisconsin.
  • Snow crystals are always six-sided, because the atoms in water molecules are arranged in triangles.
  • The exact size and shape of a snowflake depend on the temperature, moisture content in the air and how much time it has to grow before hitting the ground—or your acetate sheet.

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Comments about “Catch a snowflake and keep it forever”

  1. halo master chief says:

    I got 2-3 ft. of snow today and didn’t even think about this.

  2. J-Scout says:

    In Dc we got nothing big

  3. Penny says:

    Aw dark,it stopped snowing blah gues i’ll have to wait till next year.

  4. AKB722 says:

    Awesomely epic

  5. louis l'amour says:

    i love it!!!!

  6. louis l'amour says:

    that is so cool!!!!

  7. captian speaker says:

    last October it snowed crazily!

  8. FBP says:

    so… where’s pedro? and hope it snows!!!

  9. Ninjabomb12 says:

    hope it snows! last year there were no snow days

  10. kingguyquick31 says:

    ):):):): never snows

  11. HAWK says:

    Thats cool I really want to try it.

  12. Iamcheif says:

    I want to try this so much but it doesn’t snow in California

    • Ilovesnowflakes says:

      You can go to the mountains out there in Cali. When I lived in California my parents would take us to the mountains and she caught a snowflake! Wish I could have known bout this awesome technique then. Maybe I’ll go to a log cabin on snowy weather and do this one day!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah. Cool, but too bad it doesn’t snow in CA

      • Smart Cat says:

        It snows in the mountains….. Tahoe for sure and local mountains like Mt. Diablo or whatever is closest to you

  13. cool dude says:

    AWESOME!!!!!

  14. Awesomedude says:

    I’m sooo gonna try this!! good thing it’s still snowing :)

  15. Sweetness says:

    God is SO Amazing! How cool to be able to observe His creation like this!

  16. Mario2 says:

    I wish it snowed in California):):):):

  17. smartie says:

    cool just need to wait till it snows :D

  18. Iamcheif says:

    If it would only snow in California ):):):):):):):

  19. ghj says:

    to bad all of the snow melted here in michigan

  20. mickle says:

    this is awesome. I can’t wait till next year when it snows to try this

  21. camper man says:

    i am going to share this with my art teacher!!
    this is so awesome !!! +_+

  22. jamestown says:

    cool its awesome

    jamestown

  23. CJADESOAR! says:

    woah! this is the craziest thing…I did this a topic to my reasearch paper for my life goal and now i know it is possible i am going to try it!

  24. Crystal Jade says:

    this was one of my things that i had on my life list! and now it is possible!

  25. pmdkid says:

    wow I might try that. awsome

  26. terw hiuh says:

    introesting

  27. super duper duper eagle scout says:

    awsome

  28. natitonic says:

    if only it snowed in arizona :/ :(

  29. jomaga says:

    oooh… aaah…

  30. Bitty123 says:

    i think it looks like fun i cant wate to tell my Dad

  31. HOT ROD says:

    Awesome cant wait to try it

  32. Master Scouter says:

    This is so awesome. How did the author figure this process out?

  33. TT says:

    Awesome!!

  34. nobody put says:

    kool

  35. rtfjytjutyijuyiu says:

    wow

  36. VCD says:

    This is so cool! I know I’m going to try this!

  37. super nerd man says:

    well technicaly, the atoms are arranged in hexagons when water is frozen

  38. Blaze says:

    that is amazing!!

  39. Ordep says:

    COOL!

  40. pokemonwiz5397 says:

    i never knew you could do that! :)

  41. $$$$$$RichMan$$$$$$$$$$$ says:

    old snow flakes might be woth a lot of money in the future.

  42. big simpson fan [you know who I am JF] says:

    that would be cool keeping the oldest snowflake in the world and you might get in Guiness World records book and you could sell it for a lot of money mabey at that the time they wont have any snow and it would be worth even more!

  43. Bartholemew Jay Simpson [Bart Simpson] says:

    thats awesome how it doesent melt when you putt it in glass.

  44. smile says:

    Catch a snowflake and keep it forever was awesome !!!!!!!

  45. cupie says:

    two snowflakes could be alik for example a snow flake in virginia could be the same as one in japan but not be known

  46. hyper says:

    Its so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. love guns says:

    get it?

  48. love guns says:

    COOL!!!!!!!

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