If you’re looking for instant ice experiments, don’t forget frost in a can! Make your own frost using this simple guide on how to make frost in a can!
We live in Texas. That means we get, one, maybe up to three freezing days per winter. When we get snow and ice, we usually just end up playing in it because it is such a novelty.
When we get hot, we like to cool this off with ice science. One of our favorite ice science experiments is the frost in a can science experiment!
How to Make Frost in a Can Fast!
You just need a few ingredients for the frost in a can science experiment!
Making frost in a can is a wonderful first science project because all it takes is a can, some salt, and some ice! Almost everyone has these supplies around any time of year, regardless of how “sciency” they are. You can find more winter science experiments here!
How to Turn Frost in a Can into a Science Fair Project
Every science fair project starts with a simple science explanation and a question.
In elementary school, science fair projects don’t have to to be elaborate.
Here are some questions to ask that will inspire variables to test when making frost in a can.
- Does the size of the can change how quickly frost forms?
- What is the ideal amount of salt to make frost the fastest?
- Can you make frost in a can without any salt?
- Do different types of metal make frost faster or slower?
- Can you make frost in other materials besides metal?
Testing variables, recording data, and concluding results will make this science experiment a fun and easy science fair project.
Find more easy elementary school science fair projects here.
Frost in a Can Science
The kids had no idea why salt would make it more likely for frost to form. They had always thought that since we use salt to melt ice on walkways when it freezes, that ice would prevent frost and ice from forming.
But, it turns out that salt lowers the melting point of ice (good for icy walkways). When this happens, the water vapor around the can falls below freezing as well. Frost forms on the outside of the can when the water vapor is freezing.
The can without the salt has a higher melting point that is above freezing. That is why the water vapor only makes condensation and not frost in that can.
You have to try one of our favorite classic science fair projects!
Supplies for the Frost in a Can Experiment
- Aluminum cans (we used bean cans)
- Salt (salt science is our favorite because it is so cheap!)
- Crushed ice
- Play tray (we love this one)
If you’re in a rush, these are our favorite weather science kits.
What You Need for a Science Fair
You’ll want to have these supplies on hand before doing your science fair project. Shop the included Amazon storefronts to make things easier and don’t forget to download the free science fair planning checklist before getting started!
Science Fair Project Planning
When you’re planning your project, you want to keep everything organized. Click the image below to get my free science fair project checklist so you can start organizing your project from the start.
You may also want to check out this list of science fair project research supplies.
Supplies for a Science Fair Project
There are so many supplies for science fair projects that are individual to each project, but if you want a general list of possible supplies and inspiration for your project, check out my selection of science fair experiment supplies on Amazon.
Supplies for a Science Fair Presentation
Your science fair presentation is important! It should look presentable and eye-catching. Check out this list of my favorite science fair presentation supplies.
Frost in a Can Science Experiment
Although we can’t do snow science and rarely get to do ice science, we can still learn about winter and frost in our own frost-making science experiment for kids! You don’t need freezing weather outside to make frost in a can. With just a few tweaks, this simple science demonstration can become one of the most perfect elementary school science fair projects!
First, I challenged the kids to see if they could come up with how to make frost on their own using ice and our cans. We put just ice in one can, and ice and salt in the other.
The kids thought that the can with salt would actually be less likely to produce frost, but as it turned out, that wasn’t the case.
We filled our cans with crushed ice.
One can was sprinkled liberally with salt. We found the more salt we used, the faster the frost formed.
We gave our cans a shake to see if the frost would form faster. It did!
After five minutes, frost was fully formed on the salted can.
The other can, however, barely even had condensation on the outside.
My kids were impressed at how salt could encourage the ice to transform into frost. Monkey thought it would be safe to stick her tongue on the frost, but it stuck! The can really was below freezing!
We had to pour extra water on it to get her tongue loose.
More Ice Science Experiments
Can You Burn Ice? Burning Ice Experiment (not for young kids!)
How to Make an Ice Magnifying Glass (start a fire with ice?!)
How to Make Instant Ice in 5 Seconds