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Snowflakes (Grade 3)

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Have you ever heard that no two snowflakes are exactly alike? Trillions of snowflakes that fall from the sky every year. This makes it seem like it would be impossible for none to be alike. However, scientists admit that it is probably true.

Since it is impossible to look at every snowflake, scientists study the properties of snowflakes. This helps people understand why this fact is true.

One of the first things scientists look at is water molecules. Many water molecules are made up of H2O, with two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen atom. Other water molecules however, may have a deuterium molecule in place of a hydrogen molecule. Some even have a different type of oxygen atom. Snowflakes are made up of up to 1018 water molecules and they can contain different water molecules. As a result, many of them are likely to be different.

Still there's more that goes into explaining why no two snowflakes are alike. The atmosphere and conditions present when a snowflake falls have a lot to do with it. For example, the temperature can cause snowflakes to change as they fall. Even if snowflakes look like they contain the same shapes at first glance, they might not. A microscopic look will often prove that they are actually quite different.

If you want to see how snowflakes are all different, try making your own snowflakes. Fold a piece of paper in half 3-4 times. Then cut out a few triangles and squares. Finally unfold the paper to reveal your snowflake. Now try to create a snowflake that looks exactly like the one you just created. Even if you carefully fold the paper and try to make the same cuts, it will be hard. The shifting of the paper and the force of the scissors makes it hard to make each snowflake look exactly alike.
Which detail best explains why no two snowflakes are exactly alike?
  1. Trillions of snowflakes fall each year.
  2. Snowflakes are made of hydrogen and oxygen.
  3. Some snowflakes have a deuterium molecule.
  4. The atmosphere and conditions when a snowflake falls change it.
The author says that two snowflakes can look alike to the human eye.
  1. True
  2. False
The author hints that to see how snowflakes are really different, you should look at them using a...
  1. magnifying glass
  2. measuring tape
  3. microscope
  4. macroscope
Why does the author provide details on how to make a paper snowflake?
  1. To offer a fun activity related to snowflakes
  2. To help the reader understand the differences in snowflakes
  3. To make the article on snowflakes stick in the reader's memory
  4. To introduce a different type of snowflakes to the reader
After reading the passage, which type of scientists do you think the author consulted to get the information about snowflakes?
  1. Physicists who deal with force and motion
  2. Chemists who deal with elements and atoms
  3. Biologists who deal with plants and animals
  4. Geologists who deal with rocks and the land

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