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The materials required for this science fair project:

-    5 pails
-    A road map or GPS tracking equipment
-    A digital weighing scale, able to measure weight in one-hundredth of a gram
-    5 pieces of filter paper
-    5 beakers measuring 300ml each
-    A car and driver


1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the location where the snow samples are collected i.e. within the city and 5km, 10km, 15km or 20km away from the city. The dependent variable is the weight of the debris found in the snow. This is determined by using a weighing scale to measure the weight of the debris. The constants (control variables) are the chosen locations, the time of the day and the volume of snow collected.

2.    The 5 pails, beakers and pieces of filter paper are labeled as “City”, “5km”, “and 10km ”,“ 15km ”or“ 20km”. Study the road map and select 5 locations for collecting the snow samples. The chosen locations should be in the city and at 5km, 10km, 15km or 20km away from the city.

3.    Check the weather forecasts and select a day on which snowfall is expected. Place the pails at the  5 chosen locations. With the help of a driver, we made our way to the chosen locations and placed the pails in positions where snow could fall directly into the pails.  Make sure that the pails are dry and clean to begin with. Ensure that the pails placed clear of roof edges and tree canopies.

4.    After the snowfall on the following daymake a return trip to the chosen locations to collect the snow samples in the pails. Then, have the samples brought back to the lab for testing. Make sure that the snow does not melt (don't place the pails in warm spots).

5.    Check the weight of the filter paper on the digital weighing scale. Fold the filter paper to form a cone. Weigh 200grams of snow from each pail and placed the snow inside the filter paper cone. The cone is then placed over a beaker. Allow the snow to melt and drip into the beaker while the debris remains on the filter paper.

6.    The filter paper is allowed to dry and the weight of the filter paper is measured once more. The difference in the weight of the filter paper before and after the experiment is recorded in the table below. Do this for all 5 snow samples.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 2 days for experiment
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Basic safety requirements