Projects With Food: Ideas For the Science Fair
Does the rotating plate in your microwave actually reduce the problem of hot spots? Use this edible science fair project to find out.
Mix together a cup of flour, a teaspoon of baking soda, an egg, and a cup of honey. Press the batter into a microwave-safe pan, and place the pan on the floor of the microwave without using the rotating dish. Microwave the cake on high for 7 minutes and observe the cake. You can examine the cake to locate the microwave's hot spots. The browner spots are the areas that were heated more strongly by the microwave.
Then repeat this procedure with the pan on the rotating dish. Are the hot spots eliminated? What does that tell you about the effectiveness of the dish?
Slurping Celery Sticks
You may have seen this colored celery stick science experiment before. You just put several drops of food coloring into a wide cup of water, place a celery stick in the colored water, and observe. The color will creep up the stalk. Why? What we call celery is really just the stem of a plant. All plants pull water up through their stems. A celery stalk pulls the colored water up through several channels inside of it. You can see these channels if you cut the celery stalk across its width after doing the experiment. You’ll see several small colored circles. These are part of the channels that pull the water up through the stalk.
Although this experiment alone isn’t much of a science fair project, you can turn it into one with a bit of creativity. Try putting one celery stalk in a warm area and another in a cool area, and see whether the temperature affects the speed that the liquid moves up the stalk.
Red Cabbage Juice
If you’re interested in acidity, you can use this edible science fair project to test the acidity of various liquids. If you’ve ever worked with acids before, you’ll know that you usually test for acidity with litmus paper. In this edible science fair project, you can use red cabbage juice as your own “litmus paper.”
To make red cabbage juice, grate a red cabbage into a large bowl. Pour enough water on top to cover all of the cabbage. Let the cabbage sit in the water for several minutes, stirring occasionally. When the water turns dark reddish purple, strain it to remove the cabbage. Pour a bit of cabbage juice into several test tubes or small cups.
You can then add various liquids to the cabbage juice to see if they are acidic. Acidic liquids will turn the juice bright red or pink, and basic liquids will change the juice blue or green. You can use red cabbage juice to do a science project on the amount of acidity in various brands of orange juice, or in various fruit juices.