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  • In this activity, students are encouraged to think about the process of making ice cream and to explore the concept of states of matter through simple investigations.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • explain heat transfer in the context of ice cream making
    • describe the difference between solids and liquids in terms of particles
    • design investigations to answer their questions by altering simple variables in the ice cream making process.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • background information for teachers
    • equipment list
    • student instructions
    • extension ideas/prompting questions for teachers.

    Nature of science

    Making ice cream models the scientific process of investigation (nature of science – investigating in science) through the design of simple experiments that explore the variables involved in ice cream making. This activity models the way scientists can work methodically to investigate the answers to their questions.

    Related content

    There are several resources on the Science Learning Hub that can be referred to for further information or explanation of concepts such as states of matter. These include Kitchen science, Observing water – unit plan, States of matter, Alternative conceptions about water’s states of matter, Solids, liquids and gases and Heat energy.

    Activity idea

    There are several related activities on the Science Learning Hub that could offer students opportunities to extend their learning. These include Exploring states of matter, Using evidence – heat and change of state, Looking at water – solid, liquid or gas and Drama in the microworld.

      Published 14 December 2017 Referencing Hub articles
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