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Drip, Drip,
I'm Melting!

Problem: Does salt or sand help melt ice faster?

Research: Look up information about water, freezing and melting.

Hypothesis: Predict which substance will help melt the ice faster.
I think that  ______________  will help melt the ice faster.

Setting Up the Experiment:


Manipulated Variable: Different substances to melt the ice (This is the only thing you can change.)
Responding Variable: The amount of time it takes for the ice to melt (these are the results that you will measure)


  1. Put the three small plates on a table and place an ice cube on each.
  2. Do not put anything on the first ice cube. This is your "control".
  3. Use the measuring spoon to measure 5 ml of salt and sprinkle it on the second ice cube.
  4. Measure 5 ml of sand and sprinkle it on the third ice cube.
  5. Observe how long it takes each ice cube to melt completely into water. Record the minutes in the chart.
  6. Rinse and dry the plates, then set up the experiment again.
  7. Do three trials, rinsing and drying the plates between each trial. Make sure that you wait until the ice cube is completely melted before recording the time.
  8. Figure out the "eyeball average" for each substance. This means that you look at each of the three trials and pick the number that is in the middle- not the highest, not the lowest. For example, if the times are 16 min., 18 min. and 13 min., the "eyeball average" would be 16 min.

Make a chart like this to record your results.
Time for ice cube to melt in room temperature
( in minutes)
Plain ice cube
Ice cube with SALT
Ice cube with SAND
Eyeball Average

Look over your results. What did you find out? Which substance helped melt the ice the fastest?  Did either of the substances melt the ice faster than it melts on its own? Write your conclusion and answer the problem. Tell if your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.