Students walked into our classroom Monday morning to find that the room was transformed into the Chemical Change Cafe'. This is an activity from the book, Picture Perfect Science Lessons by Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan.
Picture Perfect Science Lessons
I'm not positive that this lesson is in this edition of the book. I found an older edition from my public library and have used the lesson for quite some time.
The lab jackets were collected by a parent, and I've used them year after year for this activity and for when we study Matter. It adds to the atmosphere of being mad scientists! The science equipment is just for decoration. I usually have flasks of white flowers pretreated with phenolphthalein so that we can watch them turn pink after we eat.
It was a perfect day to do this activity because I had a university student that was in my room to observe. Her help was greatly appreciated.
The kids mix water and pancake mix, so the batter is "perfect" for them. Some of the boys especially enjoyed making the batter extremely thin so that their pancake would be huge. Our rule in science is that we never eat. Kids enjoyed "eating at their own risk"!
After the clean-up, I have the kids work in cooperative groups to discuss other foods that could be included on the Chemical Change Cafe' Menu. Some of the foods they discuss include toast, orange juice, scrambled eggs, strawberry smoothie, trail mix, buttermilk biscuits, orange-sicles, cottage cheese, fruit salad and toasted marshmallows. It's easy for me to walk around and listen to their reasoning for each choice that they make. I'm able to clear up any misconceptions about chemical changes in a way that they can easily comprehend.
Overall, it's a fun activity!