Make a Crystal Snowflake
Crystals are made up of molecules arranged in a repeating pattern that extends in all three dimensions.
12 scoops of Borax
Food coloring (optional)
50 mL water
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*Note: These chemicals can be purchased locally at stores such as Walmart/Target.
White pipe cleaners
Mortar and pestle
4 Test tubes in stand
Alcohol burner + stand + lighter
1. Cut pipe cleaners to 12 cm; bend top and hook inside test tube.
2. In mortar and pestle, crush borax and put 3 scoops into each test tube.
3. In glass beaker, heat water to boiling over alcohol lamp.
4. Carefully pour liquid into test tubes till almost full.
5. Use glass stirring rod to mix solution.
6. Leave overnight.
The Science Behind the Reaction
Borax (sodium borate) grows in a crystal pattern. When borax and boiling water meet, it can store more borax (called hypersaturation). When the solution cools, it can't hold as much of the borax solution. Crystals begin to form on top of each other.
Do the experiment in your beaker and shape the pipe cleaner in different formations. Add food coloring.