Friday, March 03, 2006

Explaining why Ice Melts to a Three Year Old.

Over in B.Ph.D I mentioned that I had trouble explaining to Caroline why ice melts. I got a good reply there, so I'm moving the whole thing over here to see if I get more. This was my original explanation to Caroline.
Me: See ice is crystallized water

C: What does that mean?

Me: See water is made up of these little things called molecules. When water is cold, they are all tied together, and they get all tied together, the form straight lines, so we call it a crystal. That’s ice. When the sun shines on the ice, it breaks the bonds holding the molecules in straight lines, so we get water.
Amy at B.Ph.D. had a better explanation
"It gets too hot to stay together and has to all move around. Ice is what happens when the water gets cold and stands still."

"Why can't I see it moving around?"

"The little bits are reaaaally tiny. Too tiny to see. All little tiny pieces of water. But you can't see them because they're too tiny. They're moving around, though."

"In there?"

"Yep, in there."
Any other ideas?

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