Our 'Snowman' Experiment


In our Science lesson, where we are exploring materials and their properties, we investigated the question ‘What happens if you put a jacket on a snowman?’. We used a concept cartoon (see picture below) to explore some of the children’s opinions. Most children thought that putting a jacket on the snowman would cause the snowman to melt faster because it would warm it up and melt the ice. Some others thought that putting a jacket on wouldn’t make any different to whether the snowman melted or not and a few deduced that the snowman was not warm blooded so the jacket could keep the cold of the snowman in.

Working in groups, the children took two ice cubes, measured and recorded the length of each and then wrapped one in a 'jacket' (bubble wrap). We left all the our ice cubes sitting in the same area for 20mins untouched. We then took both ice cubes back to our tables, unwrapped the one in the bubble wrap and took another measurement of the length of both ice cubes. These new measurements were recorded, the bubble wrap was replaced and the two ice cubes were put back for another 20 minutes. This was repeated for 80 minutes until home time.

When time had passed, we noticed that the ice cubes without jackets were melting very quickly and the ones with jackets were melting a lot slower. The children were amazed to find out that the ice cubes with the jacket on didn't give off as much water, meaning they had melted less.

We discovered that the jackets stopped cold air from escaping and that kept the ice cold. We learned that the jacket acts as an thermal insulator for our 'snowmen'!