I don’t know about you, but the first thing that springs to mind when I think of snowy, icy mountaintops is not a day at the beach! But if that wintry paradise is located in warm, sunny Florida, Blizzard Beach’s Melt-Away Bay is where I’m headed.
Melt-Away Bay is the result of a frosty freeze turned splishy-splash. As the ice-capped Mount Gushmore heats up, its runoff drains down the slopes in an entertaining variety of ways. (We’ve already read about a couple—Runoff Rapids and Teamboat Springs.) Well, for those not wanting to dare the downhills, the one-acre wave pool at the bottom is a great place for some refreshing fun in the wintry, summer sun.
Melt-Away Bay is located near the front of the park, right at the base of Mount Gushmore. It’s impossible to miss, really! There’s a large, sandy beach with lounge chairs and picnic tables where Guests can stash their stuff of just chill out, and then there’s the pool itself. Here, the waves gently roll and bob constantly. There is no strong surf like at Typhoon Lagoon, just a light bounce, very similar to a mild experience at the ocean.
The whole family can enjoy the sound of the water as it laps little kids’ legs along the shoreline or rocks Grandma on her raft “at sea.” Big kids like to bask under the waterfalls, while Moms and Dads take it all in.
Powerful waterways, like pounding ocean waves, thundering waterfalls, and rushing river currents, are often harnessed to generated electricity. Today, explore the following sites to learn more about the ways water can be used for this effort; then gather up some supplies and Put Your Water to Work: Using Hydropower to Lift a Load via this Science Buddies experiment.
For the Science Buddies experiment, you will need:
- Aluminum pie plate, 9 inches; available at all grocery stores
- Permanent marker
- Drill with 3/8-inch drill bit or other bit size slightly larger than the dowel width; available at hardware stores
- Optional (if you don’t use a drill): hammer and 5/16-inch width nail; available at hardware stores
- Science Buddies Kit: The drill is not needed for the kit; all items come pre-drilled in the kit
- Nylon spacer, 3/8-inch inner diameter and 3/8 inch thick. The spacer must fit in the center of the waterwheel. These are available at hardware stores. See Figure 7, below, to see what a nylon spacer looks like.
- Epoxy glue; available at hardware stores
- Scotch® tape
- Wood dowel, 5/16 inch wide and 2 feet long; available at craft stores
- Plastic bucket with removable handle, 14 quarts
- Cotton string, 30-inch-long piece
- Metal nut or other small metal object that string can be tied to
- Measuring cup, 2-cup is best
- Lab notebook
Find abstract, objective, and full instructions here.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Geology, Physics
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades, High School
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