Senior Infant Science: What happens if you put a jacket on a snowman?

For Science this week, Ms Coyle’s Senior Infants were investigating 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.

Working in groups the children made jackets for their snowmen (a bottle filled with ice). We kept 1 bottle without a jacket so that we could compare how much each snowman melted. We left all the snowmen sitting in the same area for 20mins.

When time had passed, we noticed that the snowman without a jacket was melting very quickly and the snowmen with jackets were melting a lot slower. We collected the water from the snowmen wearing jackets and compared that to the water we collected from the snowman without a jacket. The children were amazed to find out that the snowmen with the jacket on gave us less 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 insulator for the snowman!