Making the Snowflake Frame

Making the Snowflake Frame

SnowFlake LAB!

Making the Snowflake Frame

  1. Get 3 pieces of pipecleaner.
  2. Arrange them so that they look evenly spaced.
  3. Starting with the top pipecleaner, and moving clockwise around the figure, twist two adjacent pipecleaner pieces together.
  4. Continue to twist until you arrive back at the start of the snowflake.
  5. Wrap a piece of string around the pipecleaners as a hanging device.
  6. Tie the string to a pencil.

Making the Solution

  1. Begin by getting a large beaker (400 mL or more).
  2. Fill the beaker with water at least 3/4 of the way full.
  3. Set the beaker on a hot plate and allow the water to warm to a simmer.
  4. Slowly add small amounts of borax while stirring.
  5. Allow the borax to dissolve completely, then add more.
  6. Continue to add borax until you can no longer get it to dissolve into the water.
  7. Bring the water up to a boil. If the borax disappears, add more until again you can no longer get any more to dissolve into the water.

Growing the Crystal!

  1. Remove the saturated borax solution from the heat.
  2. Suspend your snowflake frame in the solution so that it is completely covered. Try not to jostle the solution too much.
  3. Carefully move the container, with hot-hands, to the designated place on the side of the room.

!!!!Cleaning up!!!!

  1. Carefully wash the dish that held the borax and the stirring rod you used to make the solution with soap and water. Leave them to dry on the paper towels next to the sink.
  2. Use a sponge and some soapy water to wash the table where you were working.
  3. Wash the ring stand and anything else that borax ended up on.
  4. Return goggles and aprons to the appropriate locations.
  5. Dispose of all paper towels and other trash in the appropriate receptacles near the door.


  1. What kind of solution did you need to make for correct crystal growing: saturated, supersaturated, or unsaturated?
  1. As the water evaporates from the solutions, the solid solute particles will clump together to make a crystal. Does the amount of borax you put into the solution matter?
  1. Crystals are ionic compounds that form lattice structures. Research to find out more about them.
  2. What is a unit cell?
  1. Draw a picture of each of the three most common shapes for a unit cell:
  2. Simple cubic
  1. Body centered cubic
  1. Face centered cubic