Knoxville middle school students make snow

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tate's Middle School seventh and eighth grade students decided to disregard this winter's lack of snow and make their own.

Overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning, students put to work their very own snow machine, which they designed, tested and built themselves.

"I wanted to assign them a big, mind-blowing task that solves a problem most adults don't know how to solve,"
science instructor Alex Edwards said.
"Designing and building a snow machine tests their understanding of the properties of water by creating a false atmospheric environment. Physics and Chemistry are so interrelated, this was a great way to study these items in tandem. As a snow sports enthusiast, I loved that they wanted to see more snow!"

On Wednesday night, students set up and began testing their machine at the school's campus. When the temperature fell to 28 degrees, the students began making snow.

Tate's Middle School said the snow machine was made from supplies that were mostly found on campus, like an air compressor, pressure washer, clamps, a ladder and metal poles, among other items.

The machine was designed to blow snow up to 210 feet. Students used it to attempt to transform the 200-foot hillside slide, which is normally used on campus during the summer, into a winter slide.

"I am so proud of our students and their determination on this project,"
Kaye Simmons, school principal, said.
"It took many hours of planning and implementation and develops their problem-solving and analytical skills."

The project precedes a trip to Wilderness Back Country Snow Shoe, where students are expected to study biology, geology and regional history.