There’s few things that catch a kids attention better than chocolate. Well, candy in general pretty much does it, but chocolate holds a special place in my heart.
Also, in moderation chocolate is not so bad for you – and if you use dark chocolate there’s even more healthy benefits – so you don’t feel bad giving the kids a little sweet incentive once in awhile.
We recently did an experiment with the melting point of chocolate that got the kids excited about being scientists. When I told them there were scientists who helped make chocolate, that was something they could all see being a fun job!
The point of the experiment was to show how different forms of matter, in different states, change in different ways. They only think of “solid, liquid, gas” in terms of water, because that’s the easiest example. But they don’t think of chocolate in a liquid form, or plastic or metal – because those are a little harder to make liquid (and they don’t really become a gas).
So we took ice cubes and chocolate chips and placed them in seperate hands. It took only a second to reach the melting point of the ice! Most kids needed to drop them in the sink right away, and the resulting water that was left over in their hand was obvious for them to see. The chocolate took a little longer. After about a minute or so there was minor melting, but nothing big. After a few minutes it was becoming a little bit of a mess, and I let them “eat” their experiment. (one chocolate chip, and you’d think I gave them a whole box of chocolate the way they were grinning).
In addition, I had them hold a piece of plastic for a minute, to show that IT’S melting point was WAY higher than our body temperature. Different molecules react to temperature in different ways.