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Food Science: Chocolate Pop Rocks

Two things I love: chocolate and science. This video shows you how to make chocolate pop rocks. Pop rocks was a crazy new candy when I was a kid. Put them in your mouth and let the crackling begin. Pop rocks is basically a mixture made when sugar and water are heated and then injected with carbon dioxide gas. The cooled mixture is the pop rocks. Put them into your mouth, the sugar disolves and the carbon dioxide gas gets released (the pop). Chocolate is a complex mixture of many ingredients, primarily sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk or milk powder (for milk chocolate), and vanilla. Chocolate can be melted and mixed in with other ingredients to make many different flavor combinations. Basically this demo shows how to properly melt (temper) milk chocolate and mix in flavorless pop rocks (called pastry rocks). The results are delicious pieces of chocolate that melt in your mouth which lead to a suprise crackling of the pastry rocks. Science topics that are covered include energy in phase changes, properties of mixtures, and crystalization (chocolate has to reach specific temperatures in the melting process so that cocoa butter crystals form evenly).  

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I want to let you know of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) that has tons of million digital resources to teach math and science. All of them free as the NSDL is sponsored by NSF. This sponsorship also talks to the quality of the resources.
You can even download a NSDL search widget to intall in your page. I am positive that these open resources will be of great value to your students, their parents, colleagues, etc.
If you have any question or need a bit more guidance, do not hesitate to contact me, I am here to help teachers use this site and improve it to better serve their needs.
Laura J. Moin, Ph.D.
Outreach and Professional Development Manager

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Moin

I recently discovered your site and love what you do with science. I am a self-contained teacher at a Math/Science Magnet School in Texas. Each student leaves my classroom knowing that "Science is Everywhere" as I attempt to integrate science into everything we do. As a teacher, I constantly look for creative and innovative ways to teach the required science curriculum with hands-on approaches. Your demonstrations are easy to follow and well-explained. "Chocolate Pop Rocks" demonstrates changes in states of matter, samples of various kinds of mixtures, and heat energy. I also like that you have a practical application for this experiment. The students will enjoy this new twist.

I am thrilled to find a site that addressess curriculum in a way that accommodates my teaching style, and I will continue to follow your blog. Thank you for all your hard work to make this site available.

Texas Teacher

July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSharlyn Bammel

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