The winter months are a natural time to learn and play with ice and snow. This snow density science experiment is a fun and easy STEM activity to add to our collection of winter science experiments. Simply gather snow in a jar, watch it melt, and record the results!
*This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.
It doesn’t snow often where we live, so when it does, it’s a very big deal! After building a snowman and a snow volcano, making snow angels, sledding, and having a snowball fight we decided to do a simple winter science experiment to learn more about the properties of snow. We gathered the following supplies:
I filled up the jar with snow and packed it down a little bit. We brought the jar inside to watch it melt.
Snow Density Science Experiment
I used a Sharpie marker to mark the snow level in the jar and the time. Sharpie washes off easily from glass using nail polish remover.
We recorded the snow level every 15 minutes at first. It didn’t take long at all to see the height go down as the snow melted.
After an hour or so we noticed some water in the bottom of the jar. As more time passed we watched the entire jar of snow turn into a puddle of water!
We recorded our observations on the jar, but we could have easily used a pen and paper instead.
We were all amazed to see how much water the snow contained. The jar was almost full of snow, but it was only about 1/3 full of water once all the snow melted.
I asked my kids what that tells us about the density of snow. They correctly responded that snow is less dense than water. When droplets of water freeze into snowflakes they spread out and contain lots of little pockets of air.
After our snow density science experiment was done we verified that snow is less dense than water by filling up a cup with cold water and putting some snow into it. Sure enough, the snow floated on top so we could all see that snow is less dense than water.
The next time it snows be sure to have some fun playing in it and learning from it!