Monday, December 4, 2017

Organic Chemistry: Milk

The 8th Grade Organic Chemistry block in Waldorf education is a study of Food, often tied in with Health & Nutrition.

Our first lesson was on Milk. I started by reviewing some basic principles of Science, mainly that

    1) you push back (don't believe things blindly; try it for yourself),

    2) you take careful organized notes, and

    3) you only ever change ONE VARIABLE AT A TIME.

Science is a lovely blend of open creative thinking and rigorous documentation.

I then read Cow by Jules Older, stopping in Part Seven to show the very nice diagram of the four stomachs of a ruminant on page 9 of Horns and Antlers.

Our experiment for today was Sculpted Science: Turn Milk into Plastic!

The girls first gathered their supplies and made the experiment exactly as described. They took notes. We had food coloring and cookie cutters available and they made a few cute Christmas ornaments with their casein plastic. Then, they each chose a variation. One girl tried to make the plastic with goat milk, one girl tried soymilk, and one girl used lemon juice instead of white vinegar. Again, they took notes as to what they tried and what the results were. They spent about an hour making and playing with their plastic. We did not discuss WHY it worked. That is for later in the block.

It was a ton of fun!

Some ideas for variations:

  • change the quantity of milk vs. acid
  • change the temperature of the milk
  • change the kind of milk (goat milk, soymilk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, breastmilk, etc.)
  • change the type of acid (white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, tomato juice, soda pop, etc.)

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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