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Science of Winter

Science of Winter is a collection of activities, lessons, interactives, images, or other content illustrating or demonstrating scientific aspects of winter weather, conditions, processes, or phenomena, appropriate for middle school, informal education, and general audiences.

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  • Science of Winter
Avalanche!
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This video and companion website explain the mechanics of an avalanche and how scientists are attempting to learning more about the nature of snow pack instability to better predict these oftentimes deadly events.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Simulation
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Bacteria Assists in Formation of Ice and Snow
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NPR Talk of the Nation Science Friday Audio Story: New work in the journal Science suggests that bacteria may have played an important role in guiding the formation of the snow and rain forming ice crystals found in high-level clouds. The researchers looked at snow samples from around the globe — including Montana, France and Antarctica — and found that cells and cell fragments were a significant part of the aerosol particles that lead to the formation of ice and raindrops. Brent C. Christner, a member from the research team, talks with guest host Joe Palca about the connection between microbiology and meteorology.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Lecture Notes
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
The Effect of Gravity on Motion (Luge)
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This lesson explores how the force of gravity, acts upon a luge and rider. It teaches how gravity has an influence on speed and time of the luge run. Students will select various values for gravity and collect times for luge runs.

Subject:
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Liquid nitrogen is very, very cold! (liquid nitrogen demonstration)
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Copyright Restricted
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In this YouTube video, chemistry teacher Aaron Keller demonstrates the amazing properties of liquid nitrogen. He explains each demonstration in an understandable way. The temperature of liquid nitrogen is -196C (-321F). He explains how a dewar flask works. He pulls balloons out of a cooler, showing the expansion of a gas as it warms. He demonstrates the explosive power of the expansion of liquid nitrogen in an enclosed container. Liquid nitrogen is so cold that the floor is like a hot griddle. Liquid nitrogen has a very low viscosity. He demonstrates how brittle a flower becomes when frozen in a liquid nitrogen bath. Finally, he shows how to shatter a racquetball. As a bonus he shows how nitrogen gas can be used to put out a candle flame.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Ripples on Icicles
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This website, from the University of Toronto, provides a discussion of the instability that gives rise to ripples on the surface of icicles. A description of this instability is followed by multiple videos of icicles forming under a variety of conditions. Comparisons are made to ripples on stalactites and the movements of the ripples are also presented.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
The Science of Hockey
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Educational Use
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The Science of Hockey is the first in a series of "Sports Science" resources developed by the Exploratorium. This site takes you inside the game: you'll hear from NHL players and coaches from the San Jose Sharks, as well as leading physicists and chemists.

Subject:
Engineering
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Why does salt melt ice?
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Educational Use
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This tutorial on the chemical interaction between salt and ice explains how molecules on the surface of the ice escape into the water (melting), and how molecules of water are captured on the surface of the ice (freezing). It was created by the Chemistry Department at Frostburg State University (no, really).

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Provider Set:
Science of Winter
Author:
Fred Senese
Date Added:
11/07/2014