Today's collection of snow sites include both a scientific and artistic exploration of the subject. For example, if you've ever wondered how to preserve snowflakes on microscope slides, or how to make sparkle snow paint, you'll find your answers (and more) in the following websites. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
"Is it ever too cold to snow? How big can snowflakes get? Why is snow white?" Everything you ever wanted to know about snow (but didn't know who to ask) is answered here by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, affiliated with the University of Colorado. This educational site also includes a Snow Glossary (from "ablation" to "vapor pressure"), a Snow Fact Sheet and a feature on the history of snow removal. The first known snow plow was pulled by horses through the "snow-clogged streets" of Milwaukee in 1862.
"This site is all about snow crystals and snowflakes -- what they are, where they come from, and just how these remarkably complex and beautiful structures are created, quite literally, out of thin air." Best place to start on this Caltech site is the Snowflake Primer, where you'll learn the answer to questions such as "Is it really true that no two snow crystals are alike?" and "Why do snow crystals form in such complex symmetrical shapes?"
"A falling snowflake may take up to two hours to reach the ground, and even the heaviest snowflake falls at only one mile per hour." Educator Jill Britton divides her elementary and middle-school snow site into seven sections including Snow Science, Snow Activities, Snow Art (cutting six-sided snowflakes), Snow Literature (such as the traditional fairy tale The Snow Queen), and Snow Food. And to make all easy to use offline, the entire site is also available as a PDF download.
Wow! Don't miss this virtual snowflake designer. Start by perusing the gallery of saved snowflakes, and then try your hand at making your own. The trick is to click (not drag) your scissors from point to point. You'll know your scissors are snipping when the indicator changes from red to green. When your masterpiece is complete, you can download it, print it, email it to a friend, or go back to the gallery and look for it there.
Paper Snowflakes offers paper fold-and-cut snowflake templates for dozens of craft, science, and math activities. The simplest ones are perfect for preschoolers, the more advanced ones are good for all ages. In addition to the snowflake patterns, highlights include Historical Snowflake Studies (a history of snowflake exploration), a Brief Science Guide to Snow Crystals and Snowflakes, and links to a dozen external interactive snowflake makers.