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Kitchen Science involves simple experiments that can be conducted with ingredients you may already have on hand. Often a kitchen experiment involves slowing down and truly observing what is happening in the kitchen. Try some kitchen science with Liz!

Chemical vs. Physical Change

CHEMICAL CHANGE

In a chemical change, a new substance is made. A chemical change can produce an amazing explosion, like fireworks, or be difficult to spot, like when a nail rusts. Because chemical changes make new substances, most of them cannot easily be undone. When you burn a candle, carbon dioxide is being created, so that’s a chemical change. 

PHYSICAL CHANGE

In a physical change, no new substance is made. Physical changes come in many forms–like crumpling a piece of paper, or cutting, bending, or dissolving something. And it can happen when a substance changes states, like when water turns to ice. Usually it is easy to reverse the change.

Now watch the videos below and do some kitchen science with Liz. After you watch the video, answer the quiz question–did a chemical or physical change happen? Can you get them all correct?!

MAKING PLAYDOUGH
Is making playdough a physical or chemical change?

A: Chemical

Heat the playdough mixture up on the stove causes the flour’s starch to break down. This process is called gelatinization.

Download the Play-Doh touch app on any devIce. Shape your playdough into a creature, then scan into the app and explore.

 
MAKING TAFFY
Is making taffy a physical or chemical change?

A: Physical

Before it is pulled taffy is a supersaturated solution. When water is heated, lots of sugar can be dissolved in the water. If you were to continue cooking the water sugar solution, it would begin to brown ad eventually burn. Burning is a chemical reaction.

MAKING POPCORN
Is popping popcorn a physical or chemical change?

A: Physical

A popcorn kernel has a little bit of water inside of it. Heating the kernel up causes water to expand and the kernel to burst.

 
MAKING HONEYCOMB
Is making honeycomb a physical or chemical change?

A: Chemical

Making honeycomb involves two chemical reactions. The sugar solution is raised to such a high temperature that it starts to break down and brown. Then the baking soda is introduced at such a high heat, that it breaks down as well, releasing carbon dioxide.

How many quiz questions did you get right?!

YPSI WRITES

FAVORITE CHARACTERS POTLUCK MENU

Everyone has favorite characters from the books and movies that they love. Imagine that you could invite some of your favorite characters over for dinner! Today, we’re going to cook up that dinner party menu!

LEARN MORE

Get more recipes on our Garden-to-Tables Summer Learning pages! 

And find recipes on our Around the World pages, too!

READ ON HOOPLA

There are a wide variety of kitchen science books on Hoopla! Check them out for more hands-on experiments you can do at home.

 

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