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Preserve a Snowflake


Next time it snows, be ready to take your students outdoors and capture snowflakes and preserve their shape forever. Afterwards, students can study the ice crystal shapes and then hang their snowflakes up as art. Read all about how snowflakes are formed and then follow these simple steps:

Materials You'll Need:

  • a flat piece of glass or glass microscope slides
  • a can of plastic spray (Krylon Spray Coating)
  • small shallow boxes for students to carry slides in.
  • ice crystal identification chart
  • magnifying glasses
  • microscope (25X to 40X) binocular (optional)


  • 1. Clean off the piece of glass.
  • 2. Chill the spray and piece of glass in a refrigerator or in the cold outside.
  • 3. When it snows, put the glass in the shallow box, grab the spray and go outside. Spray the slide lightly with the fixative spray.
  • 4. Catch a few snowflakes on the glass, then quickly hold something over the glass to keep too many large flakes from crowding on the glass.
  • 5. Go inside and let the slides or glass sit in the box for 15 minutes without touching it.
  • The snowflakes will melt, but their shape will be permanently there for as long as you keep the slides. Using hand lenses or magnifying glasses, students can compare the ice crystal shapes to the chart found on the snow story to see how many your students can identify. After studying the ice crystals, students can frame it and hang it on the wall, give one to a friend or family member as a gift, or pull it out on a hot summer day, like the 4th of July, to remind others of cooler temperatures. Enjoy your preserved snowflake art. Its one-of-a-kind!

    Read about snowflakes
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