ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you to make a salt snowflake and the science behind snow.

What you need: 

  1. Cardstock paper
  2. Water
  3. Food Coloring
  4. Bowl
  5. Salt
  6. Pipette
  7. Glue


On the cardstock paper draw a snowflake. Make sure your snowflake has six sides. Next, use the glue to outline your snowflake. After you have the glue on the cardstock paper, generously pour salt onto the glue. Then use a bowl to shake the excess salt off. Let the salt snowflake dry for a bit, and then mix water and your food coloring choice into a bowl. Use the pipette to slowly put the food coloring water mixture onto the salt, and watch your snowflake become colorful and bright.


Snowflakes form in a cloud when you have a dust particle and the water vapor in the cloud turns into ice crystals on the dust. Snowflakes form at a temperature below 32°F. All snowflakes are symmetrical with six sides, but all are unique. Each snowflake takes a different path to the ground which is how it becomes different from all the other snowflakes.  The one we made in this experiment is called a dendrite. There are a lot of other classifications of snowflakes.

Salt is great for absorbing. Salt absorbs water because it is polar. Not only does the salt absorb the liquid water, but also the water vapor in the air making it hygroscopic.