STREAM Activity: Snowflake Science
Create a snowflake that is unique just like you!
Activity best for children age 2 and up
Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes are exactly alike? While that’s true, not all snowflakes are completely different from each other. If you looked at hundreds of snowflakes under a microscope, you would notice some spectacular patterns. All snowflakes fit into distinctive categories of shapes. The reason why there are patterns of snowflakes is because of different temperatures and humidifies that alter the formation of the water crystals. If the temperature is closer to 32 degree Fahrenheit, snowflakes look more like flat plates, but if it is extremely cold, snowflakes will look more like stars or the leaves of a fern. When there is a lot of humidity, this is when the snowflakes have many edges and are mesmerizing to look at. Physics decides the shape and sizes of snowflake while math determines how unique each one is – and that is why they are infinitely special. In this activity, we are going to explore some of the different kinds of snowflakes that might be new to you!
Materials you’ll need:
What patterns do you notice in each type of snowflake?
How does temperature and climate change the way snowflakes look?
Types of Snowflakes
Stellar Dendrites are the beautiful crystals with six branches that make them look like stars.
These have a column in the middle and then two flat plates on each side. If you see one, you’re lucky because they are not that common.
No one knows why these rare snowflakes turn into triangles!
These are usually so small that you need a microscope to see them.
Make your favorite masterpiece from Mother Nature!
Grown Ups-Are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!
“Snowflake Bentley” written by Jacqueline Briggs and Illustrated by Mary Azarian
Do you notice any mathematical patterns in the snowflakes? You might have noticed a magic number 6. That’s because snowflakes have something called six-fold radial symmetry that comes from the crystalline structure. In other words, all snowflakes have this pattern because they are crystals.