S: The Cookie Test By Kasey Gater
FC: By:Kasey Gater | The Cookie Test
1: The Cookie Test | by: Kasey Gater | Table of Contents | Content and Resources How to do the Experiment Helpful Tips | pages 2-3 pages 4-13 pages 14-15
2: "Content and Resources" | The Cookie Test is a great experiment in which you get to explore the wonderful world of baking as you also move step-by-step through the scientific method. In this book I have provided resources, an accurate account of my journey through the experiment, as well as some helpful tips for adults and students who may want to use this project. This experiment allows a great amount of variation and is fun and easy to explore. It is also pretty tasty and fairly easy to understand. | Different sweeteners come from different places. This experiment is used to explore what the effects are of different sweeteners on cookies. There are many different ways to prepare cookies, however it is important for the scientist to use the same recipe for each trial. After you conduct the experiment you should find that the cookies are all equally sweet, however they will all be very unique. Have fun exploring and use the given resources and tips to make the experiment your own.
3: http://www.sugar.org/ retrieved 12-14-10 | http://www.honey.com/ retrieved 12-14-10 | http://cookies-in-motion.com/ retrieved 12-14-10 | The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids. Joan D'Amico. Illustrated by Tina Cash-Walsh. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (1994) | My Resources
4: "How to Do the Experiment" | Step 1: Exploration and Research Begin by doing a little research on cookies, baking, and other sweeteners. For my experiment I am using white sugar, brown sugar, and honey. Then it is important to ask your own questions. I recommend making a list of at least 4. After you have made your list of questions you must decide whether each question is considered an experimental question, an investigation question, or a research question. For this project we are looking for an experimental question. Below I have given you a couple of my own questions to use as examples. 1. I wonder if the cookies will have different textures if I use different sweeteners? -experimental 2. I wonder what makes different sweeteners different? -research
5: Step 2: Research Question/Experimental Question Next you must choose one of the experimental questions you asked in the last step to use as your experimental question. It should follow a certain template and that is "what is the effect of (Thing that is going to be changing or the independent variable) on (respondent to change or the dependent variable)? Below I have given my own experimental question. What is the effect of different kinds of sweeteners on the texture of a cookie? | Step 3: Hypothesis This is the part of the experiment where you make the best guess you can at what you think you are going to find after your experiment. See below for my hypotheses. IF the texture of the sweetener is smoother, THEN the texture of the cookie will be smooth.
6: Step 4: Operational Definitions Here I recommend making a t-chart. On one side should be the variable and on the other should be the operational definition. You should also divide the chart in half horizontally and put special variables on top and the variables that will remain the same on the bottom. I have provided my operational definitions in list form below. Special Variables 1. Manipulated type of sweeteners: white sugar, brown sugar, and honey 2. Responding texture: soft, chewy, crunchy, or crumbly Variables that are Kept the Same 1. All other ingredients: all ingredients other than sweeteners will be kept the same for each trial 2. Oven temperature: the oven will be kept at 350 degrees 3. Bake time: all batches will bake for 15 minutes 4. Cooling time: all batches will cool for ten minutes 5. Testers: the testers will be my mother, brother, and sister
7: Step 5: Experimental Plan/Methodology For this section you must complete three steps. First you must make a list of the materials you are going to use and gather them. Next you must explain your plan in detail. Finally create a data chart to use for recording your data while completing your experiment. See below for my Experimental Plan. 1. I will be gathering flour, sticks of butter, white sugar, brown sugar, honey, lemon juice, three bowls, three spoons, three cookie sheets, and a teaspoon. 2. I will first label the bowls based on the sweetener that will be used in them. I will then do each step of the baking instructions for each of the bowls. I will then put the cookie sheets in front of the bowls and place the dough onto the cookie sheets. Still keeping track of which cookies are which, I will bake the cookies. When the cookies have finished baking I will cool them for five minutes. I will then place the cookies into bowls which are labeled on the bottoms so that my testers are unable to see which cookies they are tasting. Finally I will have the subjects taste the cookies while I record the data.
8: Step6: Conducting Your Experiment For this step you will want to write down any unusual observations, write down any questions you might come across, and fill out your data chart. | Materials: 1 1/2 cups flour 1 1/2 sticks or 6oz margarine or butter 2 T white sugar 2 T brown sugar 1 T honey 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice at least three bowls a wooden spoon cookie sheets a teaspoon
9: Make sure you have permission from an adult or the help of an adult to conduct this experiment. | Step 1: Preheat the open to 350 degrees Fahrenheit Step 2: Soften the margarine or butter at room temperature before you begin to mix it in with the various sugars Stem 3: Using a mixer, a food processor, or a bowl with a wooden spoon, cream in half a stick (4 tablespoons) of margarine with the white sugar. Step 4: Add a half teaspoon of lemon juice. Step 5: Gradually mix in half a cup of the flour. Step 6: Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and beginning to form a ball. Step 7: Repeat steps 3 through 6 using the brown sugar instead of the white sugar and then the honey instead of the white sugar. | Mixing Instructions
10: Make sure you have permission from an adult or the help of an adult to conduct this experiment. | Baking Instructions | Step 1: Drop rounded teaspoons of the dough onto cookie sheets about two inches apart. Step 2: Press each cookie flat with the back of the spoon. Step 3: Each batch should make about a dozen cookies. Step 4: Bake 15 minutes or until the cookies are a light brown Step 5: Let the cookies cool down Step 6: Taste your cookies!
11: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
12: 5 | 6 | 7
13: Step 7: Analysis Here is where you take a look at your data chart and analyze the data that you came up with in your experiment. | Step 8: Conclusion This step is very important because it is where your process comes to an end. First you must conclude whether your hypothesis was "busted", "confirmed", or "plausible". Next you look at sources of error and determine what you would do differently if you did the experiment again. Then explain your evidence, which would be what you was ant why you saw what you saw. Finally, list any questions you may want to investigate for further research.
14: "Helpful Tips" | Tips for adult helpers: | 1. I would recommend using stick butter instead of margarine. 2. You may want to use a mixer rather than a spoon if the butter isn't very soft. 3. I did each step of the experiment for each type of sweetener at the same time and it made it go much faster.
15: Putting together a science fair board can be very difficult if you haven't planned out what you want to put on it before you begin. A good way to organize it is to put your information from steps 1-5 on the first section of the board. The next section should be pictures you took of you completing your experiment (step 6 and possibly step 7). Make sure you are labeling everything so that even if you weren't there, someone could figure out what you did. Finally, on the third section you should put all portions of your conclusion. If you are planning on speaking about your project you may want to put together a list of key topics. In this list I would conclude why you wanted to do this experiment, your experimental question, your hypothesis, an explanation of your experiment, any unusual observations you made, and your conclusion. Good luck! | Tips for student scientists: