Saturday, September 13, 2008

Science Saturday:A Family Dinner

Today's science lesson brings us into the kitchen and kills two birds with one stone, a science lesson and meal preparation.

-Mix up a batch of Red Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing (or any vinaigrette dressing) and learn about emulsification.
-Emulsification= the suspension of small droplets of one liquid mixed in another liquid;
-Vinaigrette dressings are made of oil and vinegar, when left to settle, two separate layers form, but when shaken they form a temporary emulsion.

-Make a batch of pizza dough and study yeast and chemical changes.
-Chemical changes occur when a substance is changed in a way that prevents it from returning to it's original form, such as when yeast is added to sugar, flour and water creating dough. In contrast, a physical change is a change that does not change the actual make up of the item, such as water into ice (the ice can easily become water again).
-Function of yeast in pizza dough: carbon dioxide forms when yeast reacts with sugar. The release of the CO2 causes the air bubbles in the dough and is what allows the dough to rise.

-Shredding cheese and/or dicing up pizza toppings are great illustrations of physical changes. This is also a good time to talk about nutrition and healthy topping choices.

-Make ice cubes. Boil water for tea (herbal or regular). Make iced tea. All 3 steps allow for discussion of physical changes as well as the 3 forms of matter: solid, liquid, and gas.

-Make homemade ice cream. The 60 Second Science website not only has directions for an easy way to make this ice cream (without a machine), it also has the science lesson behind it.

Toss the dressing with some salad greens. Bake your pizza. Pour the iced tea and enjoy the ice cream. Several science lessons and dinner on the table.

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