How Does Salt Melt Ice?

Much like the ice on roadways, common sodium chloride has been melting away snow days for many a year! Explore the colligative property freezing point depression through an interesting video from the American Chemical Society Reactions channel. The narrator discusses how salts disrupt the crystal structure of ice, other salts people use for deicing roads, and the environmental impacts of road salt.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Work the video into the beginning of your colligative properties unit
  • Use the resource to launch a discussion of why calcium chloride works to melt ice at lower temperatures than sodium chloride
Classroom Considerations

  • Students should have a basic understanding of temperature scales and freezing point

  • Explains the content thoroughly but in an appropriate manner for high school chemists
  • Interesting facts, such as how much salt is used on roads yearly and the advantages of sand over salt, make the video very well-rounded

  • None
Common Core