Holiday STEM: Gingerbread Man Salt Crystal
We have done several crystal projects using a borax solution, but it can be even simpler than that! We bet you already have exactly what you need for our gingerbread man salt crystal science project right in your kitchen! If you have some brown construction paper on hand, it makes for an easy gingerbread theme science activity! It is a simple activity to set up and complete. Note: The crystals will take a bit of time to grow.
- Table salt
- Very hot water
- Construction paper cut outs
- Gingerbread template or cookie cutter (we used both)
- Optional: string to use as an ornament
Begin by making a suspension solution – this means we need to mix the water and salt together. I maybe put half a pot of water and poured a ton of salt in to make sure it would crystallize later.
While the water is heating, trace and cut out your gingerbread shapes. Place a pan (we used a casserole dish) out and put the cut -outs in it.
Once your solution is very hot and the salt has been added and stirred well, dump the solution over the cut-outs until covered.
Place the dish in a place where they might get some sunlight and not be disturbed. Now you wait for the water to evaporate. Note any changes you might see. We let ours sit for as many as five days.
One, in particular, had a heavy dose of salt in the middle that we thought looked like it was wearing a white sweater! Tie a string through and you can use it as an ornament or hang it on your window.
As the water evaporates, it leaves behind the salt creating those large crystals. When negative and positive ions bond together tightly they form the cube shape.
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Photos & content by: Heather Kucenski