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Monday Morning Ready12.09.2016
Jumpstart Your Week!

In most places, the snowfall blanketing city streets during the winter is seen as a bother. In fact, heavy snowfall is often considered as an important test. Blizzards can make or break many politicians' careers. Some places, however, are bucking the trend. They are treating snowfall as a resource. They are not looking at it as a burden.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Do you think it would be possible to keep giant snowdrifts until summer where you live? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

Why do you think rising temperatures inspired people to search for ways to save snow? And how do rising temperatures make the challenge even harder?

Grade 7-8

Where in the world do you think would be the perfect place for a snow-cooled system? Why?

Grade 9-10

Imagine that you owned a business that used snow to keep things cool. How would you market your service to customers? How would you convince them that your product was reliable and would save them money?

LESSON PLAN
Invent a New Way to Use Snow

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.

SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
How Bird Poop Could Help Keep the Arctic Cool
Researchers have discovered that ammonia produced from tons of seabird guano helps form low lying clouds that can partially block sunlight. Read this Smithsonian article to learn all about it.

Watch a 10-Ton Ice Cube Melt on a Seattle Square
Read this Smithsonian article to learn how and why a Seattle-based architecture firm created a giant ice cube for the city’s Seattle Design Festival.

Learn the Secrets of the World’s Best Snow Sculptors
Read this Smithsonian article to learn how teams of snow carvers turn chilly columns into masterpieces on the shores of Wisconsin’s Lake Geneva.

Wilson A. Bentley: Snowflake Shape Activity
In this lesson from the Smithsonian Institution Archives, students will learn about how snowflakes form and the types of shapes that snowflakes are composed of. They will practice observational and comparison skills. And, they will identify snowflake types based on their shape.

Exploring Solar Energy: The Science Behind Design
Use this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to learn about energy-related problems and design solutions. High School students can investigate the sources and properties of energy, conduct Internet research and create a workshop for their classmates.

Environmental Dilemma Part I
In this teacher-created lesson from Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students devise a plan or create an invention to combat global warming.
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