How to Make Ice Cream in a Bag

12 February 2018
I am super excited because I am about to embark on teaching a unit about thermal energy, AKA heat. Sounds really boring, right?! I was thinking about how I could get my students to be engaged in this not-so-interesting unit. I have seen the Bunsen burner experiments, I have watched ice melt, an egg cook, etc., etc. We need something NEW and something FUN! Okay, well it may not be totally new, but it's new to us!

A coworker of mine made ice cream in a bag with his class many years ago for a matter unit. It was perfect for showing students how matter can change its state. The matter part is cool (no pun intended - okay maybe a little bit), but what's really fascinating is the heat transfer.

Students get to experience a heat transfer that is like magic! Seriously - I was in awe after doing this and so were my kids. Not only that, but it was delicious! It tasted just like the fresh ice cream my grandma used to make us in her ice cream maker. Here's how you make ice cream in a bag.

-1C of milk
-1Tbsp of sugar
-1/2tsp vanilla extract
-1 quart size baggie
-1 gallon size baggie
-3C of ice
-1/3C of sea salt
-hand towel (to keep your hands from freezing)

1. Pour the milk, sugar, and vanilla in the quart sized baggie. Squeeze out any excess air and carefully seal tight.
2. Place the milk mixture bag inside of the gallon sized bag. Pour in the ice and salt. Carefully seal the bag tight.
3. Wrap the bag with a hand towel and vigorously shake the bag for about 5 - 10 minutes. You will see the milk mixture freeze.
4. Serve and enjoy!

It's that easy! Scoop up the Ice Cream Science lesson HERE. Here I'll explain in detail how the energy transfer takes place. Kids also have a science experiment sheet that takes them through the scientific method and a little STEAM challenge for an evaluation.

Let me know if you've tried this recipe in the comments below. I'd love to hear how it went!

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