Ice Cream Science

Little Crafter recently experienced a classic rite of passage…his first Science Fair. Actually, at his school, they call it the STEM {Science Technology Engineering and Math} Fair and he’s always quick to correct me if I forget. When it came to choosing a topic, this creative, right-brained artsy mama wasn’t the best resource, so we turned to Ms. Erin for help. Before having her kiddos and becoming a part of the One Artsy Mama team, she used to work at the Maryland Science Center in the Education department, so she had lots of ideas for us. LC decided on one that I heartily approved: Ice Cream!


The question behind LC’s project was whether salt could make ice cream freeze faster. The experiment was where we got to have a lot of fun trying to turn liquids into a solid inside ziploc baggies! We did not come up with this ourselves; there are lots of versions of this all over the internet, but this is the one we used, courtesy of Erin. Our new neighbor {who kind of lives here these days} happened to come over just in time to help out.

We used:
1/2 Cup Half and Half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 T sugar

4 Cups Crushed ice
4 T rock or table salt
2 quart-size bags
2 gallon-size bags


Step 1: Combine the half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract in a quart-size bag. Double bag it just in case it springs a leak.


Step 2: Fill a gallon-size bag with the ice and salt. Place the smaller bags inside. You’ll want to put an extra gallon-size bag on the outside as well {we learned the hard way that it’s easy to get a leak}.



Step 3: Shake, toss, and mix for about 10 minutes. You should see and feel the ingredients becoming creamier and more solid.

Then it’s time to enjoy!


Our ice cream tasted great! This recipe only makes a little bit, so if you have lots of kids to feed or like a lot of ice cream like I do, you may want to double or triple the ingredients.


Both boys agreed that the experiment was a success!


What we discovered was that salt lowered the freezing point of the ice, making it colder, and therefore making the whole process quicker!

Once the experiment was completed, we had to finish up our poster. LC put on some Elmer’s Board Mate Stickers to spell out his title, number the steps, and add some decoration. We attached photos of each step and put bags on the poster along with drawings of what would be inside them.


He was so proud of his project and loved explaining it to the teachers, fellow students, and parents who attended the STEM Fair.


Now, that’s a kind of Science I can really get excited about…the yummy kind! What about you? What fun Science projects have you done with your kids?

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