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Invent a New Way to Use Snow

Students will conduct research to learn about the characteristics of snow. Then they will brainstorm ideas for an innovative product that utilizes recycled snow and create a detailed sketch of their design. They will explain how they would store the snow until summer.

PROCESS:

  1. Invite students to share what they know about snow. Ask if anyone has ever tried to store snow? If so, how did they do it? Why did they do it? What, if anything, did they do with the snow in the long run?
  2. Remind students that the article pointed out two examples of how recycled snow could be put to good use. First, it could be stored in specially designed, insulated rooms to reduce cooling costs. Second, mounds of snow could be covered with special tarps at ski resorts. The resorts could use the preserved snow instead of making their own.
  3. Have students conduct research to learn more about snow. For example, what causes water to turn into snow? At what temperature does snow begin to melt? Are different conditions needed to preserve "wet" snow vs. "dry" snow?
  4. Have students brainstorm ideas for an innovative product that uses recycled snow. Instruct them to create a detailed sketch of their design. Challenge them to explain how they would store the snow until summer.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their designs with the class. Encourage classmates to discuss the merits of each design. Challenge them to identify any problems with the ideas for storing snow.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Investigate snow as a class. Encourage students to identify and describe any other characteristics of snow that they discover. Then have students brainstorm ideas for a product that uses recycled snow. Create a list of requirements for the product. Encourage each student to sketch a design of the product based on those requirements. As a class, discuss how the snow could be stored and preserved until summer.

Grades 5-6:
Divide the class into small groups. Encourage groups to investigate the characteristics of snow. Invite them to share what they learned with the class. Then have groups brainstorm ideas for an innovative product that utilizes recycled snow. Instruct them to create a list of requirements for the product and sketch a design of the product that illustrates their ideas. Invite groups to present their ideas to the class. Challenge them to explain how they would store the snow until summer. 

Grades 7-8:
Divide the class into pairs. Encourage partners to investigate the characteristics of snow. Invite them to share what they learned in small groups. Then have pairs brainstorm ideas for an innovative product that utilizes recycled snow. Instruct them to create a list of requirements for the product and sketch a design of the product that illustrates their ideas. Invite partners to present their ideas to the class. Challenge them to explain how they would store the snow until summer.

Grades 9-10:
Instruct students to conduct research to learn about the characteristics of snow. Have them discuss what they learned with a partner. Then have partners write a list of requirements for an innovative product that utilizes recycled snow. Instruct each student to sketch a design of the product based on those requirements. Have partners compare their sketches and evaluate the practicality of each design. Challenge them to identify ways they could store the snow until summer.