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MLA Full: "Save the Snowman! | Engineering for Kids." YouTube, uploaded by SciShow Kids, 19 January 2017,
MLA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2017)
APA Full: SciShow Kids. (2017, January 19). Save the Snowman! | Engineering for Kids [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (SciShow Kids, 2017)
Chicago Full: SciShow Kids, "Save the Snowman! | Engineering for Kids.", January 19, 2017, YouTube, 04:04,
Squeaks built Jessi a snowman! But, now Jessi and Squeaks need to save it from melting!
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Jessi: Squeaks made me an awesome present — my very own mini-snowman! Isn’t it great?

Now, I know that a snowman can’t last forever, because it will eventually melt. But I do want to keep it around for as long as I can! You probably already know that snow melts when it gets too warm...and it’s pretty warm inside the Fort! So my snowman isn’t going to last very long if I keep it indoors.

Let’s see if we can find a cold place outside to keep the snowman...the colder, the better! Hey Squeaks! Let’s bundle up and take a look around outside the fort, and see what we can find.

Hmmm. It would be great if there were a place out here where I could put my snowman in the shade. Because shade would protect it from the heat of the sun.

But I don’t see any shady spots around here. Ah! I do see two nice flat patches of ground over there, though.

One of those might work! But which one should I choose? Do you think my snowman might last longer in one place than the other?

Let’s look at each spot and compare them, to see if we can figure this out. Both places are about the same size... and both get about the same amount of sun during the day. Oh, now I see a pretty big difference between the two.

Do you? One patch is covered with light-colored rocks, and the other patch is covered with dark-colored rocks. Now, I wonder if they feel the same!

Aha! They don't! They feel different! The dark colored patch feels warmer in the sunlight than the light colored patch. Or, I could say that the light colored patch feels cooler than the dark colored patch. Either way, what I’m saying is that the two patches have different temperatures. The temperature of something is simply how hot it is.

We can use a tool called a thermometer to measure the temperature in each patch. And look, when we do, we see that the dark colored patch has a higher temperature than the light colored patch!

These two spots of ground have different temperatures, because they’re different in color. Why? The dark patch is warmer because it absorbs more of the energy from the sun.

Absorb just means to soak something up. Have you ever wiped up a spill with a sponge or towel? When you do that, the towel you’re using absorbs the water.

And the dark patch of ground absorbs a lot of the energy from the sun! And that energy makes it feel warm! But the light colored patch does something different.

It reflects more of the sun’s energy than the dark patch does. When something reflects, that just means it bounces off, like the way a ball bounces off the floor. So when the energy from the sun hits the light patch of ground, a lot of that energy basically bounces right off.

That means that the light-colored patch of ground stays cooler than the dark-colored patch! So, now that we know how the two patches are different, where do you think we should put the snowman… should we put it on the dark patch, or the light patch?

[Squeaks squeaking]

Right you are, Squeaks! The light patch feels cooler... and the snowman needs to stay cold so it won’t melt. So the light patch would keep the snowman cooler...and would be the better solution to this problem.

Knowing that light colors reflect a lot of energy from the sun can solve other problems, too. For example, if you’re going out to play in the sun on a hot day... it might be a bit of a problem to stay cool.

A good way to help solve that problem is to wear light colored clothes. Just like the light-colored rocks, they’ll reflect more of the sun’s energy...and that will help you keep you cool. And if you wear dark-colored clothes on that same sunny day, those dark colors would absorb more of the energy from the sunlight, which could make you feel even warmer.

So, it looks like science has helped us find a way to save our snowman... at least for a while! Because, we figured out that the dark-colored patch has a warmer temperature than the light-colored patch. Thanks for my snowman, Squeaks!

And thank you for joining us on SciShow kids! Do you have a question about something? Grab a grownup and ask them to help you leave a comment down below, or to send us an email to! Thanks, and we’ll see you next time, here at the fort!