Science Projects You Can Perform With Edible Materials

Science projects are a great learning tool for children of all ages. Some projects that involve chemistry and geology incorporate edible materials. Children can perform edible material science experiments in a classroom or home school setting for a project or simply for fun. Young children should have an adult help with the experiments to ensure their safety.

Carbonated Fruit

Put a little fizz in your fruit using dry ice. Dry ice will sublime into carbon dioxide over time. During this experiment, the pieces of fruit will absorb the carbon dioxide and become carbonated, or fizzy. To perform the experiment, place dry ice chips into a bowl. Cover the dry ice with fresh fruit such as grapes, berries, orange slices, banana slices or apple slices. Thin pieces of fruit absorb the carbon dioxide more easily. Place a few more dry ice chips on top of the fruit. Allow the bowl to sit for approximately 10 to 20 minutes to allow the fruit to absorb the carbon dioxide and freeze. Remove the fruit from the bowl and allow the pieces to thaw before you eat them. You must perform this experiment in a well-ventilated area and have adult supervision. Do not touch the dry ice directly to your body because it can damage your skin. If you must handle the ice, wear thick gloves. Eye protection is also appropriate around dry ice. When the fruit freezes, it is as cold as dry ice so you must allow it a few minutes to thaw before you eat. Finally, never place dry ice in a closed container because it can explode.

Salt Crystals by Evaporation or Precipitation

Science experiments involving salt crystals are fun because you can form them using two different methods and compare the results. Both experiments begin with a saturated salt solution that you make by stirring table salt into hot water until the solution will not dissolve any additional salt. Typically, you will use equal parts hot water and salt. An adult should handle the hot water. Pour half of the solution into a bowl or Petri dish and allow it to sit until the water disappears to form the evaporite salt crystals. Pour the remaining solution into a clean, glass jar and suspend a string into the solution. Salt crystals will form on the string by precipitation. After the crystals form using both methods, you can compare the size and shape of each.

Grow Rock Candy

Rock candy is a tasty experiment that you can easily perform at home for fun or as a home school project. You can do the experiment in a classroom although it helps to have a stove when you create your solution. To perform the experiment, boil water in a saucepan on the stone and slowly add sugar to the water a tablespoon at a time. Continue adding sugar until no more will dissolve into the water. You will use approximately twice as much sugar as water. Transfer the sugar solution to a clean, glass jar and suspend a string into the solution. Allow the jar to sit for several days to form large sugar rock candy crystals. Young children should have an adult supervise the experiment to make sure that they are safe with the stove. Do not spill sugar directly onto the burner because it will cause a flame. You can add food coloring to the solution if you desire.

Milk Current Swirls

Milk is made of mostly water with a little fat. When you introduce oil to milk, it will eventually dissolve into the fat and create a current in the milk. To observe this current, you can use several different colors of liquid food coloring. Pour some milk into a wide-mouth glass and allow it to sit until the milk is motionless. Gently add drops of food coloring around the edges of the glass, trying not to disturb the milk. Add a couple of drops of oil to the center of the milk without making the milk move. Let the cup to sit untouched for a few minutes and you will see the colors swirl together. The experiment works the best with whole milk because it has the highest fat content. For fun, try the experiment with whole, two percent and one percent milk and observe if there is a different in the swirling effect.

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