Science Project:

Can Jell-O be Made With Just Warm Water Instead of Boiling Hot and Then Cold?

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Research Questions:

  • What is gelatin, how is it made, and what is it used for?
  • What are the properties of a gel? What does it do?
  • Is a gel considered to be a solid, a liquid, both, or neither?

Gelatin is a protein substance that is created by boiling connective tissues, bones, skins of animals or stem roots from plants with a similar structure. It is used in many applications such as to create the much-loved Jello, taffy, marshmallows, wines, capsules for medicine, and much more.

Gelatin has beneficial properties such as transparency, strength, flexibility, easy to digest, soluble in hot water, and great binding properties. The directions say to add boiling add--but is that really necessary? Let's find out if merely warm water will do the job.

Materials:

  • 2 boxes of Jell-O or gelatin mix (any flavor)
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • A stirring spatula or whisk
  • Boiling hot water
  • Cold water
  • Warm water
  • Measuring cup
  • Saran/plastic wrap
  • A refrigerator
  • Timer/Clock
  • An adult to help you

Experimental Procedure

  1. In one mixing bowl, pour the packet of gelatin mix in.
  2. Carefully add 1 cup of boiling hot water inside. Stir until the powder is dissolved.
  3. Now slowly stir in 1 cup of cold water.
  4. Cover the bowl with saran wrap.
  5. In the other mixing bowl, pour the packet of gelatin mix in.
  6. Carefully pour 2 cups of warm water inside and stir until the powder is dissolved. You may have to stir longer.
  7. Cover the bowl with saran wrap.
  8. Refrigerate both bowls until the gelatin is set in at least one of the bowls- about 4 hours.
  9. After 4 hours...check on the gelatin and see which one has set and which one is firmer and has the “correct consistency.”

Terms/Concepts: Viscosity; Gelatin/ Gel; Protein; Collagen; Hydrolysis; Freezing/Melting Point; States of Matter

References:

Author: Sofia PC
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