Everything is Cake, errr. … Science!


Educational Innovations Blog

By Donna Giachetti

Have you seen the latest viral meme (as of this writing, anyway)?  “Everything is Cake” videos are all over the Internet these days.  In case you’re in the dark, here’s the story:  an award-winning “sugar artist” in Turkey named Tuba Geckil started the trend by posting a video of exquisitely decorated cakes that look exactly like common household items—a potted plant, a pizza, a frothy bar of soap, a stack of fluffy bath towels, and even a roll of toilet paper. 

Everything is Cake... Science - Educational Innovations Blog

It’s mesmerizing to watch as her knife slices through these creations, revealing the mouth-watering cake inside.  You can see for yourself by clicking the image above or visiting here:  https://twitter.com/tasty/status/1280966608933003264?s=20. Try Googling @redrosecake_tubageckil.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.  Her Instagram page even has a coronavirus-shaped cake!

Cake = Science?

So what does this have to do with science?  Well… plenty.  After all, baking is essentially a science experiment that (hopefully) brings forth a delicious result.  Think about the ingredients that form the batter… and how, through chemical changes, they are altered to become a solid, fluffy mass.  That’s science!  To learn more, check out this wonderful primer on baking-as-science written by 10-year-old Nandini here.  For a more advanced explanation, consult this FineCooking.com article.

Cake science (or more specifically dessert science) is definitely something I can get behind.  Yum.  Just think of all the questions you can pose:

What process causes granulated sugar to turn into crispy brown caramel filaments?  What’s the deal with beating egg whites into spiky meringues?  Why doesn’t parchment paper burn?  What makes things cook more quickly when my oven is set to convection?  How does a vinegar bath keep bananas from turning brown? 

Not all dessert science involves baking.  Let’s not forget MY favorite treat, ice cream!  Hats off to the genius who figured out that adding salt to ice reduces the temperature of the resulting solution.  I was thrilled when I found the Ice Cream Nation website, where they have a handy explanation of the science of ice cream.

Turn your kitchen into a science lab!

As of this writing, we don’t know how many schools will re-open, or what their teaching methods will look like.  We hear about blended… modified… hybrid learning.  What we also hear is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Which is true.

But cooking is something that we all do (probably more often than we’d like).  Why not turn it into an opportunity for learning?  Food science is a topic that many students can appreciate even if they’re not interested in the usual scientific fields.  It’s fascinating… and very often delicious!

Some kitchen questions to start you off

Here are some simple questions that you can easily broaden into at-home science experiments.  For each one, you’ll need to do some critical thinking to figure out how to discover the answer:

  • Does eating hot or spicy food change your body temperature?
  • Can chewing mint gum or using mouthwash really chill your mouth?
  • Are white teacups more efficient at preventing heat loss than teacups of other colors?
  • Will chilling an onion before cutting it keep you from crying?
  • Can you explain how the transfer of thermal energy causes popcorn kernels to pop?
  • Salt and sugar are two ingredients you’re sure to have on hand.  Which of them increases the conductivity of tap water best?  What happens if you change the concentration of the solution?
  • What happens when you place a metal spoon into a bowl of hot soup? (Hint:  heat energy transfer.)

Edible Science!

At Educational Innovations, we’re serious about finding unique ways to spread our love of science. And that includes science you can eat! If you haven’t tried our Astronaut Ice Cream and our assortment of edible bugs, you’re really missing out!

Then there’s our Rock Candy Crystal Growing Experiment Kit – a perfect project for at-home scientists (especially if they have a sweet tooth)!

Everything is Cake... Science - Educational Innovations Blog

If baking is your thing, consider our DoughLab. It’s packed with fun, tasty, and educational experiments with yeast, dough and bread. 

Everything is Cake... Science - Educational Innovations Blog

We have the perfect gift for the person who loves food… and science: Our Science You Can Eat bundle! Bug lollipops, chocolate covered insects, crunchy Crick-ettes and more!

Everything is Cake... Science - Educational Innovations Blog

We’d love to hear your ideas for at-home food science projects.  Share with us in the Comments section!

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Remembrance of Summers Past


Educational Innovations Blog

By Donna Giachetti

Whenever I think of my childhood summers, all my five senses are instantly engaged.  I can hear the tinkling melody of the ice cream truck, and feel the heat radiating off my head.  There’s that pungent smell of sidewalk chalk.  The taste of bright pink Bazooka gum.  And the sight of my kite, inevitably tangled up in the limbs of a tree.  (Anyone remember Charlie Brown’s kite?  Mine was surely a close relative.)

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Have Dogs, Will Science!


by Donna Giachetti

If you’ve read our CEO’s blog, “Why I LOVE Working at EI,” you already know that Educational Innovations is a VERY friendly workplace for dogs.  We started with Brody, our official “EI Lab dog.”  Next came Hunny, then Griffin, and last—but NEVER least—our frisky young Molly.  These puppies are doted upon by all EI employees.  There are always fresh carrots in the fridge and various sized Milk Bones on hand for our furry tribe.

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Sound and Waves Discussion Starters


Sound and Waves Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterIf a tree falls in a forest and there’s no one to hear it, will it still make a sound?  This is an old question, but what’s the answer?  Sound can be a difficult concept to portray because the waves cannot easily be seen or touched.  What is sound, and why do we care about it?  There is plenty of vocabulary associated with sound waves, including frequency, amplitude, longitudinal waves, transverse waves… the list goes on.  So how do you introduce and teach this topic?  We scoured the Internet for great ideas.  Hope you enjoy them!

If you have other ideas or websites you’d like to share, please write to us in the Comments section below. Read the rest of this entry »


Making Scientifically-Accurate Snowflakes


By Priscilla Robinson

Snowflakes!  They arrive in flurries, storms and blizzards, not to mention “Winter Bomb Cyclones!”  I’ve always thought the science behind snowflakes is amazing.

A snowflake begins when a tiny dust or pollen particle comes into contact with water vapor high up in Earth’s atmosphere.  The water vapor coats the tiny particle and then freezes into a tiny crystal of ice.  This tiny crystal will be the “seed” from which a snowflake will grow.  The process is called crystallization.

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