I love my girls’ natural curiosity when it comes to science. So, when my daughter asked me “Can we do a hot chocolate science experiment?” I knew it was time to get creative.
Working together, we came up with an amazing STEM activity.
When we make instant hot chocolate, we dissolve the contents of the packet into hot water. We decided to find out if temperature affected the speed that it dissolves.
Let’s get started!
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Supplies Needed for Your Hot Chocolate Science Project
First we needed to gather our supplies. Luckily most of the items were already in our kitchen.
Here’s what you’ll need:
How to Do Your Hot Chocolate Science Experiment
We started our experiment by making a prediction. Which temperature of water would dissolve the hot chocolate the quickest?
The girls made their prediction (they chose hot) and then it was time to experiment.
We started by emptying our hot chocolate packets into our mugs, one packet per mug. Then we moved on to testing the different temperatures of water.
We tested each temperature, one at a time. We were very vague with our temperatures, using ice cold water, room temperature water, and hot water. You can always add a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature of the water to add an extra measurement element to your experiment.
My girls took turns measuring the water, stirring, and operating the stopwatch. We used the digital stopwatch on my phone to time how long the hot chocolate took to dissolve.
For each cup, we measured 6 oz. of water. We used cold water from our refrigerator over ice, lukewarm water from the tap, and I did my grown-up duty and heated water in the microwave for the last mug.
Once the water was added to a mug, one girl started the stopwatch and the other started stirring. We stopped the stopwatch as soon as we saw the hot chocolate had dissolved.
Does Hot Chocolate Dissolve Faster in Hot Water or Cold Water?
We started with the ice cold water. My oldest daughter was in charge of the stirring. She stirred and stirred and stirred some more. It wouldn’t dissolve. Eventually, we made the decision to stop after three minutes. You can see the results above. Disgusting!
We moved on to the room temperature water, which clocked in at 1 minute 38 seconds. And, then the hot water, which only took 28 seconds.
The results: hot water takes the least amount of time. We predicted that because the instructions said to use hot water when we made hot chocolate. (And, it’s called hot chocolate after all…) But, now we know why we need to use hot water.
Why Does Hot Chocolate Powder Dissolve Faster in Hot Water?
Hot water has more energy than cold water. With more energy, the molecules in the water move faster breaking down the hot chocolate mix quicker.
Once we finished writing our results, we unceremoniously dumped the cold water hot chocolate sludge down the kitchen sink. Ick.
What happened to the other two mugs? They were topped with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoyed!
- Make a prediction. Which temperature of water will dissolve the hot water the fastest: cold, room temperature, or hot? Write it in your notebook.
- Empty your hot chocolate packets into your mugs. You need three total mugs with one packet per mug.
- Get your stopwatch or timer reader to start measuring your time.
- Choose the first mug and add 1 cup (8 oz.) of cold water to your mix.
- Start the timer and start stirring. Record how long it takes for your hot chocolate mix to dissolve.
- Grab your next mug and add 1 cup of room temperature water to your hot chocolate mix.
- Start the timer and start stirring. How long did this one take?
- Next, grab your last mug. Have a grown up add 1 cup of hot water to your mug.
- Start the timer and start stirring. Record the time it takes to dissolve.
- Compare your results to your prediction. Were you right?
Use a kitchen thermometer to measure the temperature of your water if you would like. This is a great way to practice reading a thermometer and adds more data to your experiment.
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Vremi 12 oz Coffee Mugs Set of 6 - White Ceramic Porcelain Mugs for Women and Men - Hot Tea Mug Set with Cool Decorative Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple Color Trim - Microwave and Dishwasher Safe
Nestle Hot Chocolate Mix, Hot Cocoa, Rich Chocolate Flavor, Made with Real Cocoa, 0.71 oz Packets (Pack of 50)
Pyrex Prepware 1-Cup Glass Measuring Cup
Our hot chocolate science experiment and turned out great!
More STEAM Activities to Try
STEM Activities for Kids in the Kitchen at iGame Mom
Do more science at home:
We love Green Kid Crafts boxes because they provide easy, ready-to-do STEM activities we can try at home. You’ll receive easy-to-follow instructions plus the supplies that you need for up to 6 activities. You can get a monthly subscription or buy a single themed box. If you enjoyed our hot chocolate science experiment, you may enjoy the Kitchen Science or the monthly Discovery Box subscription.
Are you looking for more activities?
Join our fun Facebook community, Creative Family Fun for Busy Families, for daily activities that are great for kids and families. We’ll chat, share, and have fun. It’s a safe and private place to share idea for family and kids activities. I’d love for you to join me! Just click the link below, request to join, and answer the questions (they’re easy, I promise). Come join the fun! Join the Creative Family Fun for Busy Families community here.