Blizzards + Heat Waves
Will you need a sun hat and water bottle today? Or wait…maybe snow boots and gloves? How about all of the above? Today it's gonna get really hot—and very cold—at Camp Kinda as we look into how extreme heat and snow can be both challenging and essential to our environment.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- 2 clear containers (like Tupperware or old takeout containers)
- Baby oil (you can substitute another oil like vegetable, but a clear variety will work best)
- Alka Seltzer
- A few ounces of white paint
- Food coloring (preferably blue)
- Glitter (optional)
- Small toys like cars or action figures (optional)
Ask About Today
What are 3 ways people contribute to climate change?
Blizzards bring huge amounts of snowfall. If you could swap snow for something else that fell from the sky during a blizzard, what would it be and why? Remember—once it falls, it will be covering the ground everywhere.
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
This week's materials list includes a few items that are a little more unusual—like styrofoam plates, baby oil, and food coloring. If you can find them, we think they make for some really cool experiments. If you can't, no worries, just skip ahead.
Blizzards: Not just ice cream treats.
What Makes a Blizzard?
To meet the official standards of a blizzard, a snowstorm must have wind as fast as a speeding car, visibility has to be so minimal that you can barely see your hand in front of your face, and the conditions have to last three hours or longer. How does that even happen?
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Do you live in a warm climate where you've never seen a blizzard in action? Now's your chance. Watch as meteorologists cover a devastating blizzard that hit Buffalo, New York in 2014. (You might want the grab a sweater for this one.)
What Makes a Heat Wave?
Many places around the globe will never experience blizzards due to their climates—but that doesn't mean they're spared extreme weather. In these places, heat waves are far more common than you may think. Watch this documentary to learn about how and why heat waves occur and the conditions that can make it difficult to survive them.
For younger explorers
Can't handle the cold? Then generate some heat! Watch this quick video that explains how your body can create its own heat to protect you from freezing temperatures. Try to sing and dance along—your movement help you warm up in just a few seconds.
It might be hot outside, but it's snowing at your house. (Or it will be, after this activity.)
Summer Snow Day
Check out how to create your very own blizzard in a jar right here. Once you've seen Ryan's demonstration, get to creating your own.
Bonus: Want to challenge yourself? Record yourself making your own blizzard in a jar and create your own review like Ryan's. With your parent or guardian's permission, share with families and friends.
So far, you’ve learned a lot about how blizzards and heat waves are created, but what about their impact on our environment?
It's (Really) Hot Out There
We depend on food to survive, but what happens when weather conditions like extreme heat waves lead to food scarcity, through droughts and other adverse effects?
Under the Ice
For younger explorers
Books with Blue
Read along with Blizzard by John Rocco in this Books with Blue episode. What would you have done differently to prepare for the storm?
Meteorologists have to prepare weather reports that sometimes show up on-screen during live news broadcasts. But first they need to know the lingo.
Report the Weather
Don’t be caught on television with misspelled words! Before you can prepare your own weather report, you'll have to practice your weather vocabulary. Unscramble these heat wave-related words. It might seem easy, but some words will fool you.
Challenge Yourself: If the game seems too easy, turn your sound off and try to figure out how to unscramble the word based on the letters alone.
For younger explorers
Staying warm during a blizzard can be life-saving. Go into your closet and put on 5 pieces of clothing. Can you wear 10? What about 20!? Challenge yourself to layer as many clothes as possible and try to beat a friend or family member as well! This is great practice for the next blizzard.
Remember: Be kind to the person who does your laundry (they're probably busy) and fold everything once you're done.
Time to dance up a storm.
Shake It Out
Let's shake, move, and generate heat in our bodies with this family-friendly cardio workout.
more to explore
Are you a future storm chaser? Explore some more!
Can We Keep It Cool?
Scientists predict that in future decades, temperatures may become so high—permanently—that many people won't be able to function outside. Is there anything we can do to reverse this? Learn from the experts.