Science and Ice

Is turning milk and sugar into ice cream a physical change or a chemical change? That was the question of the day for eighth grade science classes recently at Holy Angels School. Science teacher Barb Gunnare provided the basic ingredients, but the eighth grade science students provided the work needed to produce their own dish of ice cream.

Students combined the milk, sugar and a little vanilla and placed the mixture in a sealed plastic bag, which was placed inside a larger bag filled with ice and a little salt. Several minutes of swishing and squishing the larger bag eventually resulted in an ice cream taste treat…but only if the student followed directions. One of the eighth grade scientists discovered that putting salt in the milk mixture instead of the bag of ice resulted in a watery milk shake that tasted terrible! The others enjoyed their results with a variety of toppings.

As for the original question, students concluded that a chemical change had occurred in creating the ice cream, however, there were also some physical changes that occurred in the process.

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