Science with Samantha

Science With Samantha: Fishing For Ice

In this week's Science With Samantha, she shows us how to fish for ice!

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Materials needed:

  • Ice Cubes
  • Glass of Water
  • Salt
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • String or Twine

How to perform the experiment:

  • Add half a dozen or so ice cubes to a cup and fill with water.
  • Lay the string over an ice cube.
  • Sprinkle salt over the string and ice. Wait 30-60 seconds.
  • Gently pull the string. The ice should come along with it!

The Science:

Water freezes at 32° F. When you add salt to water, it lowers the water’s freezing temperature, meaning that it has to get colder than 32° F to freeze. The salt you sprinkle on the ice cube lowers its freezing temperature and it starts to melt. A little pool of water forms on top of the ice cube and the string sinks into it. As the ice cube melts, it dilutes the salt/water mixture in the little pool. The freezing point will then go back up again. The ice will then refreeze along with the string. 

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