Microwave Marathon Challenge

Microwave Marathon

For this week’s Scool Science club we were inspired by Mollie’s ice eggs. You can see them on our Facebook page. Mollie’s Ice Eggs.

We are going to start with an idea from the Institute of Physics: Microwave Marathon


This activity uses ice and heats water to boiling point. Ice can burn and hot water and steam can scald, so make sure you have an adult to help you, and they use oven gloves to handle the cup of boiling water.

Here are some photos Mrs McLain took when she carried out this part of the challenge:

If you want to find out more about how a microwave oven heats food, you might want to watch this YouTube clip: How a Microwave oven heats food.

Now we are going to challenge you to invent your own melting activity.

Here are some of our questions that you might like to try and answer:

  • Does the shape of the ice change how long it takes to melt?
  • Where does an ice cube melt fastest or slowest in your house?

I tried putting ice cubes in the bathroom, kitchen and on the dining room windowsill.

  • What happens if you wrap the ice cube up in a cloth?

  • Using what you find out, can you predict which snowman will melt first?
  • What happens if you dissolve something in the water before you make the ice cube? Does that change the time for the ice to melt?
  • Or maybe you have thought of your own question to answer or melting activity.

Talk your plan through with an adult to check that what you want to do is safe, and then go for it.

If you haven’t got an ice cube tray to make your ice cubes, use whatever small containers you have got. I’m going to try cake cases, because I found lots of them when I tidied my kitchen cupboard!

If you are feeling artistic you might like to try Mollie’s idea and freeze glitter inside ice cubes. You could even freeze some paint, and see if you could make a picture with the cubes you create.

Whatever you decide to investigate we would love to see what you have been doing. Send your photos and results to assessment@smhsch.co.uk