This project establishes a unique educational and scientific partnership between elementary and middle school students, a regional university, and a national scientific laboratory, all focusing on the science and mathematics of snowflake formation. Students will conduct fieldwork investigations using portable digital microscopes, laptop computers, and cameras to record snowflake patterns. Students will study the geometric patterns formed by snowflake tessellations and compare their findings to the contributing weather conditions such as temperature, humidity, and air pressure. The students will capture digital images of snowflakes and reconstruct the snowflake formation path within the clouds using an online snowflake applet. Snowflake data will be shared between the fourth grade and eighth grade classrooms through a collaborative website and mentoring visits from scientists. The growing dataset will be submitted to the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) - Atmospheric Visualization Collection and the Digital Library for Earth Systems Education (DLESE) for national access.
Frosted Flakes: The Science of Snowflakes is funded by a Toyota TAPESTRY Large Grant. The project team and participating students wish to express their sincere appreciation to Toyota and to the National Science Teachers Association for making this project possible.
Project Director - Tim McCollum, 8th Grade Science Instructor, Charleston Middle School, Charleston, IL
Project Staff - Paula Pogue, 4th Grade Instructor, Jefferson School, Charleston, IL, Dr. Keith Andrew, Professor of Physics, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, and Chris Klaus, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL
4th grade students - Alyssa Roberts, Jennifer Rose, Terrika Price, Sasha Edwards, Frank Lanham, Breanna Daniell, Cassie Carson, Jon Jolley, Marlee Stearns, Tara Thomas, Sam McKirahan, Mariah Stewart, Jessica Huddleston, Erin Olsen, Serena Willison Blain, and Caleb Linn
8th grade students - Shanna Hildebrand, Phillip Sterling, Drew Shepherd, Jaclyn New, John Pogue
Snowflake applet credit - Steve Ackerman
and Tom Whittaker at the University of Wisconsin