Showing posts with label food science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food science. Show all posts

Monday, November 22, 2021

My Big List of Resources for Teaching & Learning About American Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving is later this week. All month long I've been sharing Thanksgiving-themed resources and ideas. This post combines all of them into one place. If you have school this week and you're looking for some last-minute Thanksgiving resources, take a look through this list. 

The Science of Thanksgiving Foods
The Reactions YouTube channel, produced by The American Chemical Society, has a few good video lessons that address the science of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. 

Better Thanksgiving Potatoes Through Chemistry explains the chemical properties of raw potatoes and which ones to pick for roasting based on their chemistry. The video then goes on to explain the science of roasting potatoes before finally revealing the best method, based on science, for roasting potatoes.

The Truth About Tryptophan explains why it might not be just the turkey that is making you sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner.

 How to Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey Without Burning Your House Down provides an overview of the science involved in deep frying a turkey and how you can use that knowledge to avoid a disaster on Thanksgiving.

Where Thanksgiving Food Comes From
Where Does Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From? is an interactive storymap that I've shared in the past and still find to be a neat resource. The map displays where eight popular Thanksgiving foods are grown and harvested in the United States. The storymap includes a map for each ingredient. Each map shows the locations of commercial producers. Fun facts are included in the storymap too. For example, did you know that Illinois has at least twice as many acres of pumpkins as any state?

Through It's Okay to Be Smart's The Surprising Origins of Thanksgiving Foods students can learn how the most common, traditional Thanksgiving foods originated and evolved to what they are today. This lesson includes an explanation of how archaeologists and scientists determined that turkeys were one of the first animals to be domesticated in North America. We also learn why the turkeys we find in the grocery store today are so much bigger than those of just a few generations ago. 

Corn is often seen as a symbol of Thanksgiving. Today, corn and many products made with it are a staple in the diets of many of us. How did corn become a staple of our diets? What has enabled it to become one of the most cultivated crops in the world? And what are the consequences of cultivating so much corn? Those questions and many others are addressed in the TED-Ed lesson titled How Corn Conquered the World.

Create a Digital Thankfulness Turkey
Last fall I received a few emails from readers looking for some ideas on how to do a digital version of the classic Thanksgiving Thankfulness Turkey project in which students add feathers to a drawing of turkey and each feather has something they're thankful for written on it. My suggestion for creating a digital version of the Thankful Turkey was to use a combination of Pixabay and Google Drawings. I made this short video to illustrate how that process would work. 

Macy's Parade 101
Parade 101 features four video demonstrations of hands-on activities that students can do at home with their parents or in your classroom. The four activities include inflating balloons through the use of baking soda and vinegar, designing balloons for the parade, making and using sculping dough, and building model floats. All of the videos include lists of needed supplies. 

I like all four of the activities. If I was to recommend one for Thanksgiving day it would be building model floats or designing because they can be done with cardboard, paper, glue, markers, and other common household materials that don't make a mess and don't have to be done in a kitchen. That said, I think the most fun one is the inflating balloons activity. 

In addition to the videos and STEAM projects Parade 101 offers some printable coloring sheets and puzzles. An interactive timeline of the history of the parade is still available to view as well.

American vs. Canadian Thanksgiving
My Canadian friends celebrated Thanksgiving last month. Besides the timing of the holiday, there are some other differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving. There are also some commonalities between the two holidays. The following videos provide a humorous look at the similarities and differences between American Thanksgiving and Canadian Thanksgiving.



Reminder! You should always preview videos before showing them in your classroom. I know many high school teachers who will not have a problem sharing these, but teachers of younger students may want to proceed with caution.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Science of My Favorite Thanksgiving Foods

I don't think there's a meal I like better than a classic Thanksgiving turkey with potatoes, squash, stuffing and cranberry sauce from a can (my mouth is watering just thinking about the "shlop" sound the cranberry sauce makes as it pops out of the can). Behind all of that deliciousness is a whole lot of interesting science. The Reactions YouTube channel, produced by The American Chemical Society, has a few good video lessons that address the science of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. 

Better Thanksgiving Potatoes Through Chemistry explains the chemical properties of raw potatoes and which ones to pick for roasting based on their chemistry. The video then goes on to explain the science of roasting potatoes before finally revealing the best method, based on science, for roasting potatoes.



The Truth About Tryptophan explains why it might not be just the turkey that is making you sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner.



Finally, How to Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey Without Burning Your House Down provides an overview of the science involved in deep frying a turkey and how you can use that knowledge to avoid a disaster on Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Science of Cake! - And 83 Other Food Science Lessons

If you ask my five-year-old what she wants to be when she grows up she'll say, "a cake maker!" She's been helping decorate cookies and cakes since before her third birthday. She loves it when we let her watch clips of The Great British Baking Show. That's why I was excited to come across an older SciShow Kids episode about baking cakes. 

Baking a Cake With Science is a short video that explains to elementary school students how the ingredients in a cake batter work together to when baked in the oven to rise and become a spongey cake. 



Watching Baking a Cake With Science reminded me of some other food science lessons that I've featured in the past. A quick look through my archives uncovered the following good food science videos.

Reactions has a playlist of seventy-six videos that teach short lessons about the chemistry of food and beverages. Some highlights from that playlist include 3 Egg-cellently Weird Science ExperimentsWhy is Pizza so Good? and Why Does Stinky Cheese Stink?  And who hasn't looked in the refrigerator and wondered Can I Still Eat This? All four of those videos are embedded below.










TED-Ed Lessons About the Science of Food
Caffeine and carbohydrates are just a couple of the topics covered in TED-Ed lessons about the science of food. Here are seven TED-Ed lessons that address elements of the science of food.

How Does Caffeine Keep Us Awake? explains what caffeine is and where it is found. The lesson also explains how the body adapts to regular doses of caffeine and what happens when you stop consuming caffeine.


How Sugar Affects the Brain is a TED-Ed lesson through which students learn why sugary foods and beverages can become addictive and how the human body processes sugar. The video is embedded below.


How Do Carbohydrates Impact Your Health? teaches students the basics of what carbohydrates are, the types of foods that are rich in carbohydrates, and how the human body processes carbohydrates.


What's the Big Deal With Gluten? is a lesson that teaches students what gluten is and where it is found. The lesson also addresses why some people are allergic to gluten and why some people just think they're allergic to gluten.


How the Food You Eat Affects Your Gut is a TED-Ed lesson through which students can learn about the gut microbiome that helps your body maintain its immune system and the best foods to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.


How the Food You Eat Affects Your Brain takes a look at the composition of the human brain and the foods that have an impact on how the brain functions. Like the lesson about gut health, this lesson includes a list of the foods that can have a positive impact on your brain's function.


This last one is a bit of physics lesson. Why is Ketchup so Hard to Pour? uses ketchup to explain why non-Newtonian fluids can transform from solid to liquid so quickly.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Three Thanksgiving Science Lessons

I don't think there's a meal I like better than a classic Thanksgiving turkey with potatoes, squash, stuffing and cranberry sauce from a can (my mouth is watering just thinking about the "shlop" sound the cranberry sauce makes as it pops out of the can). Behind all of that deliciousness is a whole lot of interesting science. The Reactions YouTube channel, produced by The American Chemical Society, has a few good video lessons that address the science of a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. 

Better Thanksgiving Potatoes Through Chemistry explains the chemical properties of raw potatoes and which ones to pick for roasting based on their chemistry. The video then goes on to explain the science of roasting potatoes before finally revealing the best method, based on science, for roasting potatoes.



The Truth About Tryptophan explains why it might not be just the turkey that is making you sleepy after a big Thanksgiving dinner.



Finally, How to Fry a Thanksgiving Turkey Without Burning Your House Down provides an overview of the science involved in deep frying a turkey and how you can use that knowledge to avoid a disaster on Thanksgiving.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

66 Lessons on the Chemistry of Food and Beverages

Reactions is a YouTube channel that I've mentioned in a handful of posts in the past. The channel is produced by PBS Digital Studios and the American Chemical Society. All of the videos on the channel include chemistry lessons based on ordinary, everyday parts of life like food and beverages. In fact, Reactions has a playlist of sixty-six videos that teach short lessons about the chemistry of food and beverages. Some highlights from that playlist include 3 Egg-cellently Weird Science ExperimentsWhy is Pizza so Good? and Why Does Stinky Cheese Stink?  And who hasn't looked in the refrigerator and wondered Can I Still Eat This? All for of those videos are embedded below.










Applications for Education
All four of the above videos as well as dozens of others in the Food Chemistry playlist could be great to use to help students see how science, specifically chemistry, is a part of everyday life.

If you want to use these videos as part of flipped lesson or a classroom discussion, consider using EDpuzzle or Classhook. I have video tutorials for both of those services embedded below.