When you've next got time to make some pancakes from scratch, involve your kids so they can learn a little bit of chemistry, and also think through the process computationally.
By the end of this game, children will be able to:
Understand computational thinking concept: (Sequencing)
4-9 year olds
We have a very crepe-y recipe for you to make pancakes from. Include your kids, to talk through how you're cooking them, and how the ingredients transform into food. Teaching kids how to cook can open a door to chemistry -- and possibly develop them into a master chef junior in the near future.
Explain each ingredient. Ask your kid: what is the role of this? And what's it going to do to the flavor of what we're creating?
Now it's time to start thinking in sequences and processes. Ask your little one: what do we need to put together?
Start with the ingredients you need to prep: get the butter melted, and break the eggs open.
Sieve and measure the flour. Mix it with the other dry ingredients -- the sugar, the salt, and the flour, all in a big bowl.
Now begins the drama: we are going to put the liquid ingredients in with the dry ingredients, and see what happens.
Dump in the melted butter. Whisk in the 6 eggs. And pour in the 2 cups of milk.
Ask your kid: What is going on? And ask them: how much should we mix? What should our goal of mixing be? Hint: get all the lumps out!
Now we will take this reaction to the next level. Time to get a wide, flat pan heated up and lightly oiled. Ask your little one: why do we need this pan and the stove? What are they going to accomplish?
To help them think through the process and the chemistry, ask: 'Why didn't we just put each ingredient on the stove? What would that have tasted like?' Then ask, 'Why don't we just eat this from the liquid in the bowl? Wouldn't that just be as delicious as the pancake cooked?'
The goal is to get them thinking through the reasons that you made the pancakes in the order of steps that you did. And to understand the power of heat to transform liquids into solids. As the substance heats up, the ingredients bind together, the liquid begins to evaporate, and the batter comes together to form a solid pancake. Incredible!
As you cook and serve your chemical creations, talk it through with your kids. How would they make pancakes tomorrow morning? Would they reorder any of the steps? What could they change in the ingredients, and how would the pancakes change? What if you left out the eggs? What if you left out the salt?
And of course, don't forget to enjoy!
PhD in Education
Originally from Turkey, then Pittsburgh, now California
I got my PhD in educating kids how to code, and how to think computationally so they can thrive in STEM. I have been researching how Offline Activities -- where kids aren't in front of a screen, but are playing in the real world -- can help kids get core concepts of coding.
In this activity, your children learn the chemical process that takes liquid, runny pancake batter, and transforms it into a delicious breakfast. As the pancake cooks, it undergoes a chemical change and becomes a solid. Your kid should begin to understand the chemistry of cooking, and also how to sequence steps in cooking.