The science of chocolate: Interactive activities on phase transitions, emulsification, and nucleation

Amy C. Rowat, Kathryn A. Hollar, Howard A. Stone, Daniel Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Nearly everyone loves chocolate, which makes this an excellent topic for communicating scientific concepts to the general public and to students in the classroom. Here we present the outline and activities for an interactive presentation on the science of chocolate for nonspecialists and their children ages 6 and up. We design the presentation around three major questions related to observable properties of chocolate: Why does chocolate melt in your mouth, not in your hand? Why does chocolate feel smooth in your mouth? Why does chocolate look glossy and snap when you break it? To address these questions, we lead the audience through a series of taste experiments, and use a combination of live demonstrations and interactive activities with children. The general approach can be adapted to a variety of informal and classroom settings focused on sharing the excitement of scientific understanding with students and the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


  • Applications of Chemistry
  • CLIC
  • Consumer Chemistry
  • Elementary/Middle School Science
  • Food Science
  • General Public
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Interdisciplinary/ Multidisciplinary
  • Phases/Phase Transitions/Diagrams
  • Physical Properties
  • Public Understanding/Outreach


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