Who doesn’t love snacks?! Usually treats are reserved for the younger crowds, but secondary students deserve fun edible science labs too! I’ve found that incorporating treats into my laboratory experiments is a game-changer. Beyond the traditional glass beakers and Bunsen burners, utilizing everyday kitchen ingredients not only makes science more palatable but also sparks a heightened interest in the subject matter.
Edible experiments offer a multisensory experience that engages students, transforming the learning process into a hands-on adventure. From exploring chemical reactions using baking soda and vinegar volcanoes to understanding genetics through edible DNA models crafted from licorice and marshmallows, these activities provide a tangible connection to scientific principles. The appeal of getting to eat the results of their experiments adds an exciting element, turning the classroom into a space where curiosity is satisfied and appetites for knowledge are whetted simultaneously.
Here are some of my favorite tasty labs to use in the classroom to make learning delicious!
OSMOSIS WITH GUMMY BEARS Edible Science LAB
This classic osmosis lab is sure to be a hit in your secondary science classroom! This gummy bear osmosis lab is broken up into two days and the only materials you need are gummy bears, salt, water, cups, metric ruler, and a scale. Students will complete a background reading and questions to learn about tonicity, osmosis, homeostasis, and cell transport. They will then make hypotheses, follow a procedure, collect data, make simple calculations (volume, percent change, and density), create graphs, answer analysis questions, and end with a scaffolded conclusion.
Cookie Mining Edible science Lab
Who doesn’t love a lab with cookies?! Students love to see the impacts of cookie mining in their own town! In this cookie mining lab students will create their own town and model how surface mining impacts the environment with edible ingredients (a cookie!) and write a short CER about the health and environmental impacts of surface mining. Included with the lab handout are pre-lab questions, a step-by step procedure, student directions and map template, analysis questions, and a scaffolded claim, evidence, and reasoning writing activity.
candy Biomagnification edible science lab
All you need are cups and round candies for this super fun and tasty biomagnification lab. Students read and learn about the processes of biomagnification and bioaccumulation and then apply that knowledge to model the processes using candies and plastic cups. Students collect and analyze data from their models and answer analysis questions.
Modeling Mitosis with Cookies edible science Lab
Students will learn about and model the phases of mitosis, interphase, and cytokinesis using sandwich cookies (Oreos), sprinkles, and red candies (Red Hots) in this fun and edible mitosis lab. Students will read and learn about the processes of cell division and then apply that knowledge to model the processes using yummy treats. My high school students love this mitosis lab activity!
Types of Volcanoes edible science Lab
Forget the volcano baking soda experiment! In this volcanoes lab, students model three types of volcanoes using a cookie, chocolate chip, and a chocolate kiss. They will link the data collected from the models to complete CER activities and draw volcanoes to scale. A Volcanoes Reference Sheet (anchor chart), detailed lesson plan, editable lab handout, Google Slides version, and answer key with rubric are all included!
Starburst Rock Cycle Lab
This starburst rock cycle lab is a great, hands-on and edible activity for learning about the rock cycle. Students use Starburst candies to model the processes of how rocks change into other types of rocks in the rock cycle.