It’s no secret that at ACM we love to play with our food. It helps us with build upon our math and science skills. Plus, it is just so much fun!
We have an experiment that will turn one of your favorite beverages into plastic.
All you will need is:
- 4 ounces of milk
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar
- a small pan
- a small, clean jar
First, you will put the milk in a pan and heat it on the stove until it curdles. This happens when the milk begins to form lumps. Next, you will slowly pour off the runny liquid. Then, put your lumps in the jar and add vinegar. Let it stand for about an hour.
After an hour, you will notice the milk has turned into rubber! Finally, you can shape the lump into a ball or some other simple shape. Be sure to pour out any excess liquid before playing with the rubber. After doing this, let it sit on a paper towel for a few more hours. Once it is completely dry, you will now notice the milk has finally turned into plastic!
How did this experiment work? When milk and an acid (the vinegar) mix together, the milk begins to change properties. The milk begins to separate into a liquid and a solid. The solid material consists of minerals, fat, and a protein called casein. This protein is made of long molecules. Those molecules allow us to bend the lumps like rubber until it hardens and resembles plastic.
Let us know what shapes you managed to create with your milk.
To learn more about proteins and milk or to find new ways to play with your food, visit some of our other experiments.