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Ice Sculpture Science
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Ice Sculpture Science

Credit: net_efekt
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/3478842087/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Few people understand frozen water as well as the artists who create ice sculptures. To create a sculpture that is clear and well frozen takes a lot of effort.

Why It Matters

Credit: Denali National Park and Preserve
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Winterfest_Ice_Sculpture_(8511750108).jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Ice sculpture representing the Denali quarter [Figure2]

  • Artists who make ice sculptures must have a perfect block of ice to work with.
  • Ice is hard so power tools are great for carving the block of ice.
  • When the ice first comes out of the freezer it experiences thermal shock. The surface warms faster than the inside.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about ice for ice sculptures. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What happens when ice melts? What is needed to make ice melt?
  2. What makes a block of ice cloudy and why?
  3. How do the artists create a block of ice that is not cloudy?
  4. Why do cracks form on the surface of a layer of ice on a pond (or on Europa)?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: net_efekt; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/3478842087/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Denali National Park and Preserve; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Winterfest_Ice_Sculpture_(8511750108).jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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