Presidential Ramblings by Saverio Greto
Since all the snow we've been getting. Here's a fun snow study all level of students will enjoy and amaze. Have fun with it. Remember the slogan of this years' NSTA conference in Denver, "Science runs through it"
Snow Mass and Snow Studies Extension
One of the problems I faced in facilitating the understanding of snow mass and its relation to the amount of water it produces was the concept of just how much air is in a given amount of snow. The first exercise presented to the class was to gather an X amount of snow at three varying depths of snow pack, weigh them and then place the snow mass in a clear plastic baggie. Most students expected to find a different mass at the various levels but were surprised to discover the small amount of liquid in their baggie.
To get my point across to the class of just how much air is in the masses of snow, I had them gather two forms of snow. The first was hard packed (a snow-packed snowball) and the second a loosely gathered amount of snow. Making sure none of the snow was the infamous yellow variety, I had each student put the snow up to his or her mouth and breathe through the loosely packed amount. I could easily tell the exercise was a success by the AHA I saw in their eyes. The students that had not yet tested the hard packed snowball heard the others yell, “Try it with the snowball!” They all found they could breathe easily through both masses of snow.