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STEM Matters: Yummy Autumn Toffee Apples- For Science!
STEM Matters Mgr: Marisa Ostos
As October comes to an end, the feeling of autumn, and our soon-to-be winter season, steadily approaches. While we wait, why not learn to make some yummy toffee apples for the autumn season and learn about the science behind it?
Toffee Apples & States of Matter (Great especially for young children)
If you can remember from your high school science days, you might recall that everything around us, from the chair we sit on to the tea we drink, typically exists in four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. It is true that far more than 4 states of matter actually exist in our universe, but for the purpose of our science activities, let us focus on the three most common, everyday states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Examples of these include the following:
- Solid: your kitchen table; a cube of ice; the wire from a chicken coop
- Liquid: rain; orange juice; blood
- Gas: the smoke from a blown-out candle; your breath; the helium from a balloon
Likewise, you may also know that matter can transition from one state, or phase, to another. Here are these transition-processes, along with their names:
- Solid to Liquid: “melting” (ie: Melting ice cream)
- Solid to Gas: “sublimation” (ie: The gas from dry ice as the ice heats up)
- Liquid to Solid: “freezing” (ie: Water turning into ice cubes in your freezer)
- Liquid to Gas: “evaporation” (ie: Your tea as it boils)
- Gas to Solid: “deposition” (ie: Your breath causing your beard to freeze in below-freezing weather)
- Gas to Liquid: “condensation” (ie: The steam from your shower as it covers your mirror)
To experiment with these states of matter in a family-friendly way, this recipe, provided by the Science Sparks blog, will teach you how to make some yummy toffee apple treats, while explaining the specific scientific processes behind the apple-toffee-making!
**For another fun and simple experiment, you can learn about filtration with this Spiced Apple Cider Recipe.