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For other activities, see the Activities Chapter.

Dry ice is a lot of fun, and can be very educational. A perfect combination!

Dry ice can be obtained from some stores that sell ice. Look them up in the yellow pages.

Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide makes up 0.03% of the Earth's atmosphere. We exhale it with every breath we take. Plants absorb it and use it in photosynthesis. It is also what makes soft drinks fizz. It is much colder that ice made from water. It is -109.3°F or -78.5°C. This makes it a little dangerous. It is so cold that it can burn your skin. Also, be careful that pieces don't fly into unprotected eyes.

Dry ice doesn't melt like water ice. Water ice goes from a solid to a liquid and then to a gas. Dry ice goes directly from a solid to a gas - a process known as sublimation. Dry ice is also more dense than water ice and sinks when placed in water.

The carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air.

Remember that carbon dioxide does not support life. It could be fatal to babies and pets.

Some things you might want to have on hand to experiment with dry ice are: insulated gloves, safety glasses, hammer, spoon, film canisters, 2-liter plastic bottle with rubber stoppers, cups, newspaper, warm water, balloons, candle with holder, lighter, needle and thread.

Some of the interesting properties that you will want to explore.

Other resources and with more exciting experiments:
The Saturday Scientist
Rock-It Science

Copyright © 2001 Vincent Hale