Carbonate_what.jpgNPR produced a video titled Cooler Than Fruitcake: Fruit With Fizz. As I watched the video, I wondered how well this would work. Of course … inquiring minds have to know! I made plans to recreate the activity for students.

 

Pressure_Canner.JPGI borrowed a LARGE pressure cooker and brought it to school. A quick trip to the grocery store provided a variety of fruits. Several other teachers helped me cut up fruit. Dry ice was broken into small pieces and placed on the bottom of the pressure cooker. We loaded three racks of sliced fruit into the pressure cooker. I sealed the pressure cooker top and left it alone on the counter top.

 

Our regular activity continued (with students glancing at the pressure cooker in anticipation.) Just before students were dismissed, I released the pressure, removed the lid and took out the racks of fruit. Students were pleasantly surprised at the taste of the fruit. I was glad we tried more fruits than were shown in the video because we had slightly different results than shared in the video. This was one of my student's favorite activities. Perhaps it was because their food was now “fizzy” and had a “bite” to it.

 

I asked students why the fruit became fizzy. Students told me the activity demonstrated “diffusion.” We learned the concept two months earlier in class. I asked what evidence students had that diffusion happened. Students applied previous learning as they explained how “fizz” was inside the fruit but not on the surface nor the air around their fruit.

 

STEM Snack questions: Please respond to these questions in a comment below:

  • How might you use this or a similar activity to engage students?
  • How might this activity relate to ELA or math common core?
  • What other foods would you recommend using in a similar activity?

 

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