Have you ever wondered how they make candy bars? The scientist in me was so intrigued I just had to figure it out. Nothing can get students more excited than the prospect of making candy. They often remark, “you can make your own candy bars?” “Yes” I say, “its magic.” But really all it takes is a whole bunch of problem solving skills-a great way to teach students these skills as they beg you to engage in this lesson.
Time Frame: 2-3 1.5hr blocks
- Students will use their knowledge of confections and experimentation to recreate a candy bar of their choice.
- Have students try to identify all the different cross sections of candy bars found on this website.
- Candy bar that they want to replicate
- Candy Thermometers
- Pastry Brush
- Parchment Paper
Background for Teachers
- I suggest having students work in groups for this project because it will keep the costs down.
- If you don’t want this to be a three day project you can assign the first days activities for homework. However, it will still take about two classes just to make the candy bars because certain steps have to cool for extended amounts of time. I suggest that while steps are cooling students work on the lab report piece of the lesson.
Instruction & Activities
- Have students take the candy bar that they are going to replicate and cut it in half. Have the students analyze the insides of the candy bar and draw a sketch of the cross section labeling the different parts or ingredients.
- Hand out the candy packet that gives recipes for certain parts of typical candy bars like caramel, chocolate coating, etc. Have students then write out a plan for recreating their candy bar thoroughly reading all the recipes and piecing them together so there is not a lot of down time. Students should type this up as the “recipe” for their recreated candy bar.
- Remind students of safety precautions.
- Allow your students to start making their candy.
- Tell students that while their candy is cooling they should work on their lab reports.
- Allow students to finish making their candy.
- When students finish their candy they should work on their lab report.
- Have your students make their own candy bar packaging for extra credit or if they finish early.
- What things did you try that didn’t work out?
- What things did you try that turned out better than you expected?
- What obstacles did you have to overcome?
- Students will be graded on their final product and lab report.
- Cross Section Candy Bar Identification Quiz
- Tempering Chocolate
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