06 March 2015

Day 32: Our First Science Fair

Tonight, we participated in our very first Science Fair organized by one of our homeschool groups. Coqui had a hard time thinking of an experiment that interested him and still was presentable at a fair. Eventually, we came up with a cooking experiment. The big question was: Do noodles cook faster in salt water?

We filled two pots with four cups of water each, added a teaspoon of salt to one of them, and brought them both to a boil. Then we threw in the same amount of spaghetti and cooked them for nine minutes exact. After those nine minutes, we took them out and tasted them.

Now what do you think we observed?

For those that want to try it themselves, this is the part where you stop reading and go into your kitchen and started boiling that water. Those that just want to keep reading, the noodles in the pure water were perfectly done, but the noodles in the salt water were still hard on the inside, way before al dente! So they needed to cook longer. We threw them back in the water and cooked them some more and voila, we had dinner ready.

The big question now is why did this happen. We did a little research and found out that salt water has a higher boiling temperature than pure water which is at 212 degree Fahrenheit (or 100 degrees Celsius). Apparently, for salt water it depends how much salt is in the water, the more salt the higher the boiling point. So that's why the noodles were not done yet. Once we threw in the noodles, the waters cooled down a tid bit, and for the salt water, it took longer to reach it's boiling point again.

Coqui proudly presented his poster today, earned a reward, and got to eat that fabulous cake, done by one of my friends. All the kids did really great - I loved to see their little personalities coming out in the experiments. They were all interest lead and I love that. No pressure, no trying to out-do each other, but pure fun. Thank you to the two ladies that organized everything and put it all together. We love this community and are so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.