Hold My Ice Cube (Grades 3-5)

In this activity, young scientists will discover how long an ice cube will last when placed on different surfaces.

A spatula with an ice cube resting on it next to a wooden spoon, also holding an ice cube
If you were an ice cube, would you rather hang out on a metal spatula or on a wooden spoon? Why?

What You Need

  • A wooden spoon
  • A metal spatula
  • 2 ice cubes, as close to the same size as you can get
  • A towel or an area where it will not matter if it gets a bit wet
  • A stopwatch (optional)

What To Do

  1. Position the spatula and the wooden spoon so that they are laying flat on a surface. (You might need to put a wedge under the handle of the spatula to support it.)                                                                       
  2. Place one ice cube on the spatula and one on the wooden spoon. You are all set. You have two safe places for your ice cubes to rest. Or, do you?
  3. If you are using a stopwatch, now is the time to set it.
  4. Observe what happens next. How are your ice cubes doing? Are they melting? Are they melting at the same rate?
  5. Think about what happened. Can you figure out why?