Cookies: Can You Blame the Burnt Ones On the Cookie Sheet? *
|Areas of Science||
Cooking & Food Science
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Readily available|
|Cost||Low ($20 - $50)|
|Safety||Adult supervision recommended when baking the cookies.|
Have you ever bitten into a beautiful golden-brown cookie only to realize in dismay that the bottom is burned and black? What causes that uneven baking? Can it be prevented? You can discover the answer by conducting a science fair project to determine whether different types of cookie sheets result in noticeably different cookies. First you'll need to do some background research to figure out what kinds of baking sheets you can buy. For example, there are aluminum, steel, insulated, and nonstick, just to name a few! But what properties does each type of baking sheet have? Do the different types of metal conduct heat at different rates? Do they heat up evenly across the whole cookie sheet?
Once you've done your background research, you'll be ready to make a hypothesis about how the different types of cookie sheets will affect your cookies. Then you can test your hypothesis by baking cookies on the various cookie sheets and comparing the results. Make sure you keep as many variables as possible exactly the same, like the batch of cookie dough, size and shape of the cookie dough on the sheet (Hint: try using chocolate-chip cookie dough dropped on the sheets with an ice-cream scoop to get the same amount of dough each time), oven temperature, and cooking time. You'll need to use your imagination to figure out how to compare the different cookies, but measuring the width and depth, and comparing the color of the top and bottom of each cookie is a good starting place.
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Last edit date: 2017-07-28
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What was the most important thing you learned?
The quality of the cooking on each cookie sheet should really be measured by how evenly the cookies were cooked, not whether or not they are burnt.
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Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project.
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If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers:
Materials Scientist and EngineerWhat makes it possible to create high-technology objects like computers and sports gear? It's the materials inside those products. Materials scientists and engineers develop materials, like metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites, that other engineers need for their designs. Materials scientists and engineers think atomically (meaning they understand things at the nanoscale level), but they design microscopically (at the level of a microscope), and their materials are used macroscopically (at the level the eye can see). From heat shields in space, prosthetic limbs, semiconductors, and sunscreens to snowboards, race cars, hard drives, and baking dishes, materials scientists and engineers make the materials that make life better. Read more
Food Scientist or TechnologistThere is a fraction of the world's population that doesn't have enough to eat or doesn't have access to food that is nutritionally rich. Food scientists or technologists work to find new sources of food that have the right nutrition levels and that are safe for human consumption. In fact, our nation's food supply depends on food scientists and technologists that test and develop foods that meet and exceed government food safety standards. If you are interested in combining biology, chemistry, and the knowledge that you are helping people, then a career as a food scientist or technologist could be a great choice for you! Read more
Food Science TechnicianGood taste, texture, quality, and safety are all very important in the food industry. Food science technicians test and catalog the physical and chemical properties of food to help ensure these aspects. Read more
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