Lego Science: An Ice Excavation Experiment

Lego Science Experiment

I am excited to be back for another Saturday Science. Each week we keep ourselves busy exploring and trying new science experiments. This week was no exception. Those of you that follow along regularly know Legoman (my 8 year old) lives and breathes Legos. So it is no surprise that during our unit on rocks, we tried a little Lego Science Ice Excavation Experiment.

Setting up a Lego Excavation
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Lego Science Ice Excavation Experiment

For Christmas, my mom gave us these amazing ice cube makers that are meant for fancy drinks. However, we have had so much fun doing experiments with them. The set-up was simple for our Lego Science experiment. All we needed to do was fill the ice cube maker halfway with water, place the Legoman on top and freeze. After a few hours, I filled the ice cube maker to the top with water and froze over night. This made transformed our Legoman into a fossil, stuck, just waiting for an archeologist to find him.

{Note: If you do not have the special ice cube maker, you could freeze in any small freezer container. Just be sure to leave room for it to expand)

While the boys were busy doing their independent work, I set up the experiment. ( I actually had the boys do it separately, so I could see the difference in how each one went about solving the problem.)

I presented the problem…

You are an Archeologist. You are looking for fragile fossils.

You come across something interesting in a glacier and you want to explore more.

How are you going to excavate the fossil? What tools are you going to use?

Remember: Fossils are very old and very fragile.

Experimenting with Legos In Ice

Legoman was first to explore. He was so surprised to find his fossil was one of his beloved Legomen. He sprinkled some salt on the spot above the Lego.

He added water. Watched as it caused the ice to crystallize from the inside out.

Poked at it with toothpicks and chiseled with chopsticks.

He was diligent and he tried many methods.

Legoman Excavation Experiment

He turned the ice this way, that way, every which way. Each time getting a tad more of Lego to shine through the ice. The Ice excavation experiment was a success. He was talking about variables he would change for next time. He was asking “What if… ” questions. He was fully invested.

He finally succeeded. {Don’t be alarmed by the picture… I thought for some reason red could represent the hot water he asked for}

Lego Science Mistake

Oops… I won’t do that again!

Next, it was time for Bones (my 6 year old) to give it a try. It was so interesting to see how differently the two boys approached the same problem.

Lego Science An Ice Excavati

Bones immediately added a layer of salt to the top of the ice just like his brother.

However, he took a very different approach. He stuck with that one method. He did salt on top, and then added a pile under the ice.

He let it soak in a bit until he noticed cracks forming down the side of the ice.

He added water (only to the top) and let the water (now salty) drip down the ice.

With each squeeze and squirt, his fossil became more and more evident.

It was not until the very end that we both noticed something EPIC!

Lego Sciece Excavations in Ice

His Lego had 2 sides to his head. We did not plan this. We did not stage this. If you look back at the first picture you will notice the horror on the face of the Lego.

Now compare it to the relief of being freed. You can see it in his face.

I can not tell you how excited this made Bones. As a kid who lives in a mystical world full of make-believe… he thought the Legoman truly was showing his feelings. He felt like he had accomplished something so grand and so fantastic.

He had Excavated his Fossil and freed his Lego!

Both boys wanted more. They immediately thought of variations to change their outcomes. So in the freezer the Lego Man went and now he is ready for more Science fun.

Time for Saturday Science Blog Hop!

Visit these great bloggers for more fun Saturday Science experiments too!

Sink the Ship & a Review of littleBLAST Science Kits from Stir the Wonder

Winter Freezing Liquids Science Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands

What is your favorite science activity? I would love to hear! Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestInstagram or subscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.

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  1. Rachel says

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I did it today with my 5 year old and he absolutely loved it. We used a skeleton lego minifigure so he was really digging for bones in a glacier. :)

    • Lemon Lime Adventures says

      It took about 30 minutes. I would suggest using a smaller ice cube if you are doing it for a party. It would be fun to set up at a table and have kits set up for each kid. I would love to know how it goes and see a picture if you try it :)

  2. Becca says

    Ahhh! that one picture was so scary !! haha good experiment going to try it with my 6-8 year old summer camp!

  3. Cailea says

    What a neat idea. I live in a region where winters are pretty harsh, so outside time cuts down significantly in the winter. New activities can be hard to come by after a while. Both of my children are lego nuts and have sensory processing disorder. I can see my oldest having a blast with this. Thanks for sharing :)


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