Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chocolate and Science mmmmm delicious!

Today I took the kids to the Discovery Museum at the Gateway.... They were hosting a Chocolate Fest. It was held by the American Chemistry Society. The whole hands on exhibit was about how chemistry affects Chocolate. We did several experiments, and at the end we went through a room that had chocolate vendors, including Mrs. Cavanaugh's, C. Cummings, and then there were some chocolate tastings as well. The best part well after the Chocolate of course was that the first 1,000 attendees got in free! Free Chocolate, there is nothing better than that!

It was very well organized and we had a wonderful time.
The first activity was Chocolate as an Acid neutrilizer. We took PH strips and dipped them in vinegar and then we stirred up some chocolate chips in the vinegar for a few minutes. After that we used the PH strips again and we were able to see the difference in PH levels.
Q. What did I learn?
A. When you get acid reflux eat chocolate!

Next we learned that water and vegetable oil do not have electrolytes while Gatorade and Chocolate milk have tons of electrolytes.
Q. What did I learn?
A. That when you need to rehydrate drink Gatorade or better yet Chocolate Milk!

Then we moved on to discover that chocolate and gum do not mix.... but why? It is because the oil causes the gum to dissolve. It makes a huge mess in your mouth. I could get really technical but I only remember the basics, sorry.

Q. What did I learn?
A. Under no circumstances should you ever eat chocolate while chewing gum.... throw away the gum and enjoy your chocolate!

We also learned why an m&m will dissolve faster in different solutions that others. We dropped an m&m into each of 3 cups the first was just plain old H2O, the second was H2O and we added 1 tsp. of sugar, the third was H2O and we added 3 tsp. of sugar. The m&m coating dissolved fastest in the plain H2O. Then in the second place was the H2O and 1 tsp. of sugar. The reason behind this was because the sugar took up most of the room in the solution. When there was not any sugar present it was able to dissolve faster.
Q. What did I learn?
A. Frankly I don't know!

We moved on to one of the more interesting experiments, in which we had to use one of our senses....

This was very cool, 1st we had to choose a mystery liquid to put into a balloon, but only a few drops. Then we had to blow up the balloon and tie it. after that we sniffed the balloon and it smelled like vanilla! We were able to sniff the ones that had been sitting there for a little while and it was pretty amazing. The ones with orange extract smelled like a lemon-lime beverage, but still like a rubber balloon. The vanilla one also still smelled like a rubber balloon. However the chocolate one smelled like Chocolate with out the rubber balloon smell. The chocolate scented balloon was the strongest smelling. And you know what? They had made one and stuck it under the table and it was orange and vanilla scented and it smelled like a dreamcicle.
Q. What did I learn?
A. I really like Chocolate scented balloons!

The last hands on project we did was to make white chocolate roses.....

I don't have photos of our White Chocolate roses because our hands were very messy at this point. We were able to take small rounds of white chocolate the size of pennies and flatten them and shape them into a rose and then we put them on skewers to take home.
Q. What did I learn?
A. Playing with Chocolate is just as much fun as eating it!
After this we were given a goody bag with a kids newspaper and other goodies from the American Chemistry Society and ushered into "The Chocolate Room." Here we were given a small paper sack and told to gather the chocolates that we wanted. Mrs. Cavanaugh's gave us a choice of 1 chocolate where as C. Cummings told us we needed to take one of everything and they had about 8 different chocolates on hand! On the end of their table they were hand dipping strawberries in chocolate and told us to make sure we ate one right away.... my favorite! Then we went to the last table and we were given 4 squares of chocolate each, and told to take them home and have a family chocolate tasting. I know what I am having for dessert!
We really enjoyed our Chocolate Fest experience and we were also able to explore the children's museum as well and that was great fun!!!! If you have not taken your kids to the Discovery Children's museum I encourage you to do it. We had tons of fun and it is so much cooler than the old Children's museum.

1 comment:

Jesse, Christa and Marshall said...

You are such a fun mom. You're always doing some kind of interesting outing with your kids. The gum and chocolate experiment, I've done that one. In my mouth. It was disgusting. I've thought about taking Marshall to the Children's Museum. Do you think he's too little for it?