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Scientific Method Lab Using Bubble Gum

Scientific Method Lab Using Bubble Gum

I've done something similar to this during my student teaching (I did not author the lab found by this link). It helps the students learn to use lab equipment (triple beam balance) and how to execute an experiment (controlling variables, taking precise and accurate data, analyzing data, making graphs, etc.). This can also be changed so that the students record and measure after two minutes of chewing (make sure they suck all their saliva out of their wad of gum and place it back on the wrapper before putting on the balance pan). As they track the mass of the gum plus wrapper, they will see it slowly decrease until it levels out. At this point, they'll know all the sugar is gone out of the gum. Having multiple readings of the masses makes for a better graph. You can up the difficulty for high school kids by having them test a few different kinds of gum. Ex. each group will test 5 different types of gum (all sugared or sugarless) and make graphs to compare. For any age group, I wouldn't have the kids bring it up to your desk every time. Just wander around the room and check out their data as they are in the chewing period and correct any problems students are having.

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Paul Kirkpatrick
Paul Kirkpatrick (Student)
12 years ago
A gum lab? This will be great for teaching the use of graphs in science.
stephen fedele
stephen fedele (Staff)
12 years ago
I liked the cave man site, and the chewing gum lab but I dont know what they would do while they are chewing the gum.
Monica Bravo
Monica Bravo (Faculty)
12 years ago
My students would LOVE this, but my administrator would have a fit...!
Stefanie Chow Vertrees
12 years ago
I've done this with 8th graders, and they handled it fine. Just make sure that at the end of the lab, you go around with a trash can to each student and have them throw their gum into it so you know that they threw it away and aren't still chewing it or stuck it on something. If they have a problem with it, sit them out of lab and they don't get to participate, or give them detention. However, if they really can't handle the gum chewing, they probably won't be able to handle any other labs, and that will be a tough semester.
Brandi Miller
Brandi Miller (Student)
12 years ago
Buyer-be-ware...this is a great lab, helps with lab procedures but make sure your students are mature enough to handle the gum chewing.