After their unit on electrolytes, solutions and density, upper school students combined their knowledge to create sports drinks as part of a chemistry project. Teachers, administrators and peers tasted each group’s drink and listened to their presentations. The results were impressive, high quality and delicious!
“At the very beginning, they were assigned an article to read, Gatorade, The Idea that Launched an Industry,” said chemistry teacher Nathan Nease. “This being a project-based learning unit, their entry document gave them an outline of the project. Getting students to the end product included research, experimentation and strong taste buds!”
The journey from beginning to completion was filled with many chemistry-related skills such as measuring mass, volume, density, molar mass, molarity, percent by mass, freezing point, pH and quantity of electrolytes per serving. The project required taste-testing, naming the drink accordingly and making a presentation to a panel of judges who listened to process of making their sports beverages, tasted and gave feedback on the drinks.
“This is the fourth year for this project,” said Nease. “I have heard comments from former students about remembering how their sports drinks were made and how good or bad they tasted. It’s a good project that gets students thinking more like chemists.”
“When we first started our project, we were very overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into making a sports drink,” said Caroline Bolling ’21. “We gradually improved from our not so great first trial to our final trial, which tasted amazing!”