The Twelve Days of Science! Day 10: Scientific Paper Snowflakes!

On the tenth day of Christmas Science, my mommy made with me… Scientific Paper Snowflakes!

Snowflakes can come in many shapes and sizes. They’re formed in clouds, when the temperatures fall below freezing. The shape and size depend on many factors, including temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind currents, even dirt and dust particles!

These conditions can even change the snowflake’s structure, even as it falls toward the ground! The resulting snowflakes can take the shape of hexagons, needles, ice columns, cylinders… all sorts of things!

This wonderful chart comes from Caltech Physics Professor Kenneth Libbrecht

While much of the US gets to experience snow as it exists in nature, we in the lower deserts need to get creative if we want to see snowflakes for Christmas. So, we made our own! Here are some resources so you can make some too!


Folding and cutting tutorial:

If you want to learn how to fold your paper to make more realistic snowflakes, here is a wonderful and simple tutorial from Instructables!

Natural Snowflakes:

Many of these snowflakes are based on shapes that occur in nature. We used these templates from Paper Snowflakes, to cut them out.


Incredible Star Wars snowflake templates available from Anthony Herrera! Photo Credit: Anthony Herrera Designs

Star Wars:
Designer Anthony Herrera has come up with several fantastic Star Wars templates, featuring everyone from Jabba the Hut, to Darth Vader, C3P0, R2D2, and more! There are dozens of awesome templates here, with downloadable pdfs for you to print! Here’s the link to 2014’s release, make sure to look for 2013, and 2012 as well!


Frozen Snowflakes by Anthony Herrera! Photo Credit: Anthony Herrera Designs


Frozen Snowflakes:

Do you have a child who absolutely loves Frozen? Check out these incredible Frozen snowflakes from Anthony Herrera. Featuring Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and more, you can have a whole cast of frozen snowflake characters! Here is the link to his post, featuring pdf templates available for download.


Gorgeous 3D paper snowflakes Photo Credit: Lia


3D Paper Snowflakes:

This easy and fun tutorial from Lia Griffith shows you how to make these gorgeous 3D paper snowflakes! Here’s a link to her tutorial, grab your glue guns and get creative!

Of course, I couldn’t help but try to make a scientific snowflake for our library. While I couldn’t quite perfect the atom, I did end up with a nice science snowflake of my own. See if you can spot the flasks and robot faces!

Happy Holidays!

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