Snowflake Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 Where Do Snowflakes Come From?
  • 0:18 How Snowflakes Form
  • 1:14 Why Is Every Snowflake…
  • 1:25 Different Shapes
  • 2:14 Different Sizes
  • 2:38 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Do you know where snowflakes come from? In this lesson, you'll learn all about how snowflakes are made, all the different shapes and sizes they can have, and why they look the way they do.

Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

Have you ever picked up a snowflake on your glove and really looked at it up close? Did you ever wonder how such a tiny thing could have such a complicated shape or where it comes from? In this lesson, you'll find out.

How Snowflakes Form

Every snowflake that you see on the ground started its life up in a cloud as a single tiny droplet of water in the air. In warm weather, that droplet of water might stick to other droplets and fall to the ground as rain. But in cold weather, it freezes into a tiny droplet of ice. Then, other water droplets stick to the ice droplet, and the other droplets freeze.

Because of the way they stick together, the frozen droplets make a shape with six sides. Each one of these six-sided shapes is called a snow crystal. As more and more droplets stick to the snow crystal, they start sticking to the six corners more than other places, so the crystal grows six 'arms.' Slowly, more and more water droplets get attached to the arms in different patterns.

These snow crystals are what make up snowflakes. Some snowflakes are made of just one snow crystal. Other snowflakes are many snow crystals stuck together.

Why Is Every Snowflake Different?

Even if you looked all day, you wouldn't find two snowflakes or snow crystals that are exactly the same. Every single one is different. Let's see why.

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