Science

Frozen Dinosaur Dig

by Amy Collins June 12, 2018

When it’s cold and snowy outside, this is a great #WhatsInMyTray activity to get your students outside and thinking about the temperature at which water freezes, and how quickly it may or may not freeze.

You will need…

  • Two Shallow (F1) Gratnells trays
  • One 3×3 Gratnells tray insert
  • Some EDX Education dinosaurs – you can use other animal figurines
  • Water
  • A cold, outside space
  • Children’s digging tools – chisels, hammers, spoons, etc

What to do…

  • Head outside and add some water to a Shallow (F1) Gratnells tray
  • Drop some EDX Education dinosaurs into the tray. Be sure to spread them randomly and use a mix of colours to make your frozen dig visually exciting
  • Leave the tray in an outside area. If you’re able to, go back every hour to see how much of the water has frozen. You could record your findings on an hourly basis
  • If needed, leave your tray to freeze overnight. We left ours overnight in the snow and it was frozen and snow covered when we returned
  • You can use different tools to try and dig the dinosaurs out of the ice. If you apply the heat from your skin, the ice will slowly melt around the dinosaurs, causing them to break through the ice block. If you are going to touch the ice with your hands, you must wear gloves as it will be extremely cold
  • As the ice starts to melt, you’ll be able to extract the animals easier and they’ll leave really cool shapes in the ice slab.

Health and Safety

As with all Gratnells What’s In My Tray Activities, you should carry out your own risk assessment and health & safety measurements prior to undertaking any of the activities with children. When handling ice and incredibly cold water, please use gloves to protect skin.