Food Science

In these 5th grade science fair projects, we’ll look at some of the surprising science of our favorite food items.

Food is important for our bodies, our minds, and our societies. But how much do we really know about it?

 

EXPERIMENT 1: Coke Dissolves Meat?




This experiment will explore how one of America’s favorite drinks, Coke, affects some of our favorite meats. We know that Coke is an acidic drink, but is it acidic enough to dissolve meat? With these 5th grade science fair projects, we’ll find out.

MATERIALS:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 beef steak (cheapest available)
  • 1 fish fillet
  • 4 liters of Coke
  • 3 bowls

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Come up with your hypothesis – do you think the Coke will dissolve the meat? Will it dissolve some meats but not others?

2. Place each piece of meat in a bowl and fill with Coke until the meat is mostly submerged, but still visible.

3. Place all three bowls in the refrigerator (or be prepared for a mighty stink in a couple of days!)

4. Once per day over the next 1-2 weeks, check on your meats and write down what you find. Was your hypothesis confirmed?

*Tip: There are many variables to play with in these 5th grade science fair projects. You can try other popular drinks besides coke, for example, or use bones instead of meats.

But, like every good scientist, remember that you can only test one variable at a time – everything else must be the same during the experiment.

 

EXPERIMENT 2: Safe Bread Storage




We’ve all seen how moldy bread can get if it’s not eaten quickly. But what’s the best way to prevent the spread of mold? These 5th grade science fair projects aim to find out. This science project will not only teach students about one of the oldest problems of human health – food safety – but it will also help them remember how to be sure that their food is healthy and safe when they store it.

MATERIALS:

    • 5 slices of bread
    • airtight re-sealable plastic bag
    • refrigerator
    • magnifying glass

 

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Come up with your hypothesis – which of the 5 pieces of bread will grow mold most quickly? Most slowly

2. Put one piece of bread on a shelf or counter at room temperature where it will not be disturbed

3. Put the second piece of bread outside in the sunlight

4. Seal up the third piece of bread in the bag and leave it next to the one on the shelf

5. Put a couple of drops of water on the fourth piece of bread and store it somewhere humid and damp

6. Put the fifth piece of bread in the fridge

7. Come back once a day for the next 2 weeks and check each piece of bread. Write down what you see. Estimate the percentage of the bread surface (each side) that is covered with mold. Use your magnifying glass to look at the mold itself. What does it look like? Is it the same on all 5 pieces?

8. Present your results with before-and-after photographs on your 5th-grade science fair project poster.

 

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