Snowflakes Are As Unique As Your Fingerprint…Really, They Are
Exploring the Science of Snowflakes
Have you ever been told that “no two snowflakes are alike”? Ever watched snowfall and wonder how can every single one be different? Explore this scientific phenomenon by making your own snowflakes at home while bringing a little extra holiday cheer into your home or school.
Nature can’t make two snowflakes the same, can you? This is a great activity to explain symmetry and patterns in nature, this also fits an Next Generation Science standards. Remind kids that symmetry is when an object looks the same after reflection or rotation. We see symmetry in art, mathematics, and science. The word symmetry literally means together (sym) and measure (metry).
Computer paper 8.5in x 11in
Step 1: Bring the corner to the edge of the paper and fold
Step 2: Cut the flap
Step 3: Fold in half
Step 4: Bring one edge to the middle of the paper and fold to both of the sides. (they will overlap)
Step 5: Cut the V so its straight and looks like a cone.
Step 6: Cut into the cone. You can cut triangles, circles, or anything your imagination comes up with!
Step 7: unfold
Step 8: Tape your masterpieces on windows or have them hanging up in your room.
Observe the symmetry and variation between all of your snowflakes. The team here at Farm Academy both created very different snowflakes even though we followed the same directions. Yet they all followed the rules of symmetry. Everytime we rotated or reflected the snowflakes they consistently looked the same.
NGSS Learning Lessons: https://www.nextgenscience.org/topic-arrangement/3weather-and-climate
Cross cutting concept: patterns and climate would go well with this activity. This is a great way to show how hard it is to create identical copies in a group setting and how to prove symmetry.
So, how do snowflakes form? They’re actually ice crystals that started out as a hexagon. It’s not entirely known why snowflakes are perfectly symmetrical. We do know that a snowflake is a reflection of its molecules which are hydrogen bonds. There are no two snowflakes that are alike. Were you able to create two perfectly identical snowflakes?