Moving wire though ice

Welcome to day 3 of ‘ice week’, so far we have made frost, and looked at freezing.

Today we are looking at moving wire through ice. Ice usually needs to be warmed up to melt, but you can also make it melt by adding pressure to it.


What you need:

Thin wire, we used fishing rod wire.

A block of ice

1 or 2 weights.


Basically you need to place the wire over the ice and add weights to it, so the weights pull the wire down on the ice.

We didn’t have any weights so suspended the ice above a bench and used a heavy griddle pan as a weight.

We added a little bit of salt over the wire too to speed up the melting process.

You can see here how the wire has melted into the ice, I am suspending the ice in the air by holding the wire


A much neater way to demonstrate this would be to use a smaller piece of ice and place on the top of a bottle and place wire with a small weight on either side over the top. 

I quite like my makeshift version though.

The Science Bit

When water freezes it expands, as the molecules arrange themselves in a very ordered arrangement which takes up more space then when the molecules are free.

The wires adds pressure to the ice under it which melts the ice a little bit, when the wire moves down, the water on the top refreezes, this continues as the wire moves through the ice.

Emma @sciencesparks





Ice usually needs to warm up to melt, but pressure can make it melt too.



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