Sweet Slurpee Science Activity For Kids

Now we have one particularly sweet experiment, which shows us that science can be very tasty! This is the third and final blog in our Learning and Development blog series. Today’s experiment one is particularly fun for a day when kids are in need of a treat. This activity also works to give kids something to do, learning how patience and a little work can result in a delicious reward.

Objective: How salt and ice interact to drop thermal reactions (temperature based changes that happen in matter, like water turning into ice, melting back into water, turning into vapor, etc.) in the drinks.

What you’ll need:

  • Small plastic cup
  • Large bowl
  • Spoon or stir stick
  • Straws
  • Ice
  • Salt – Rock salt works best
  • Juice

a snowcone

Pro Tip: Set up this experiment at the beginning of the day, and come back to later so that you don’t have to willfully wait for the chilling process to take place.

Step 1: Take your plastic cup of juice and set it in the middle of the bowl, spreading ice around the cup so that it is at least three-quarters of the way up the cup.

Step 2: Sprinkle salt around the cup on the ice, being careful not to get any in the juice.

If you feel inclined to understand the process taking place, you can leave a thermometer in the juice, and discuss the drop in temperature overtime because of the salt-ice reactions. You should also stir the juice every thirty minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t freeze unevenly.

The juice should thicken, and when it’s to the desired viscosity, it is ready to drink.

The Science Behind Sweet Slurpees

This experiment explores the principles of heat transfer and the endothermic reactions between salt and ice that pulls heat from around it at a molecular level, which drops the area temperature well below freezing.

Water is a fascinating part of our lives, and is something we often take for granted. Trusting the water that comes out of our faucets is clean and safe for ourselves and our families is something we need to value and protect. CSWR works to make sure that water is something you don’t need to worry about.