Start the school year off by engaging your students in a hands-on science activity. This activity will get students excited about learning, especially when they can see the changes right in front of their eyes. Students of all ages enjoy these activities, but what they’ll love more is when they can eat their results! In this article are examples of edible science experiments that will engage young learners.
Create sorbet or ice cream in a bag: Using a small and a large plastic bag (a sandwich size and a gallon size for example), crushed ice, salt, and juice (for sorbet) or half and half, sugar, and vanilla (for ice cream). Fill the smaller bag with the materials for the sorbet or the ice cream and seal the bag with no air in it. Next, fill the larger bag with ice and salt. Then place the small bag in the big bag and seal it shut with no extra air in it. Shake the bag vigorously for 5-10 minutes. Lastly, enjoy your sorbet/ice cream! The salt makes the ice colder which makes the liquid solidify when it reaches a colder temperature, thus creating the ice cream/sorbet.
Form raisins: All you need to create raisins are grapes, sunlight, and about two weeks. Place washed grapes in a container and in an area with a direct view of sunlight. Watch each day as the grapes start to become raisins.
Eat and play with Gummy Bear Slime: Gather gummy bears, cornstarch, oil, and powdered sugar to create the slime. Divide the gummy bears by color into separate microwave-safe bowls. Next, place the bowl in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir the mixture until there are no lumps. Combine the cornstarch and powdered sugar, and then pour the gummy bear mixture on top and begin kneading the dough. Add oil to make the slime more stretchy. Afterward, feel, smell, and taste the slime!
Make rock candy Kool-Aide: This experiment requires some prep beforehand, but yields great results! Gather candy sticks, sugar, water, containers, and kool-aide packets. Dip each stick into water, roll in sugar, and let dry overnight. Create a sugar-water mixture by heating 1 part water to 3 parts sugar. Once the mixture is created, pour into a container and mix in a Kool-aide packet. Repeat for as many packets and containers that you have. Dip in the sugar sticks into the mixture and watch as crystals begin to form. After a week, take the sticks out and enjoy the rock candy!The original sugar on the stick acts as a seed for larger sugar crystals to grow on when it is soaked in the Kool-aide mixture.