Snow Melt, Flooding, and Math Connections

snow melting

Photo By: Alisha Vargas

With the popularity of Olaf , the snowman from the movie Frozen, as well as the record breaking snowfall this winter, the topic of snow melting has become a very popular topic in the last few weeks.  As spring is heading upon us and the snow is being to melt, many states around the country will be faced with a new threat of flooding.  Unfortunately, there is no magic like in Frozen for Olaf to permanently not melt the snow.  With this topic, there are many real-life math connections you can make at home.

One way to make this math connection is to have a thermometer and a tub or box of snow with a ruler.  Place the snow in the box and measure the height of the snow.  Place the thermometer in the snow and then bring the box indoors or in a sunny spot outdoors, depending on the temperature.  You can then watch together as the temperature increases that the snow level begins to melt.  In the end you can measure how much snow equals to how much liquid.  This activity includes practice on math skills like reading a thermometer and measurement.  Here is an example of the activity.

As an extension to this activity you can discuss about how this water will need a place to go since the ground may either still be Frozen or has already absorbed its maximum amount.  What will then happen to the water?  NOAA has various explanations of what causes the flooding or what will happen to the water after the snow melts.

How can you make math connections in the real world?

Check Smart Tutor Elementary Math Curriculum and Free Math Games

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