Did you know that ice cream can teach you a lot about thermodynamics?
Episcopal eighth graders participated in a tasty science lesson recently in the Chemistry Kitchen in the new QUEST Center in Foster Hall. Students used chocolate milk, ice and salt to make their own ice cream inside of a plastic bag. Science teacher Shymala Alapati uses the lesson to demonstrate the thermal energy transfer and how the drop in temperature of the milk mixture ultimately creates a solid form. “Students truly enjoyed the experience of working in the lab in the Quest Center,” she says. “It is always remarkable when we can have a super-fun lab and learn the maximum from the lab. It’s a double bonus day!”
That double bonus day occurred in the fully stocked Chemistry Kitchen. Since students have started using the new space there has been tremendous activity, ranging from second graders learning about the circulatory system to French students making crepes. Alapati says access to the kitchen made things much easier for her class. “Students were able to socially distance and still be together,” she says. “The amazing amount of space with all of the facilities – such as the refrigerators, the sinks and a place to keep everything in all one location assisted greatly.” She says in the past the ice cream lab has required her to coordinate supplies from multiple areas, making it much more difficult. “With all of the facilities easily accessible, it made it much easier to focus on what we were to learn from this lab.”
Learning at Episcopal is fun and tasty. (For future reference – the next time you’re caught with that extra bowl of ice cream, just say you’re learning more about the principles of thermodynamics!)