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Ice Cream Experiment

Make delicious ice cream using science!

Age Group: Middle School

Difficultly: Medium difficulty, requires a bit of endurance and strength for continuous shaking


  • Cream Base (Half and Half, Heavy Whipping cream, Coconut Milk) - Regular Milk will not work

  • Sugar

  • Vanilla Extract

  • Desired Toppings/Add-ins for ice cream

  • Ice

  • Salt

  • Measuring Cups

  • Small sandwich Bag

  • Large Bag


1.In the small bag put 1 cup of the cream base

2.Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the bag (add more or less sugar for a sweeter or less sweet taste)

3.Add in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

4.Add in any desired toppings. I have added in cocoa powder and melted chocolate for a chocolate taste.

5.Close the small bag and mix all the ingredients together, so that all the sugar is dissolved. Make sure to close the bag properly so there are no leaks.

6.Fill the large bag ¾ full with ice

7.Add a lot of salt to the bag. There should be about a third cups of salt for every two cups of ice.

8. Put the sealed small bag in the large bag and close the large bag.

9.Wrap the large bag in a towel and shake it

10.Stop shaking when the small bag has achieved the desired thick ice cream consistency

11.Enjoy your ice cream

How it Works:

When Ice cream is made, it has to be constantly stirred as it is frozen, to ensure a creamy and light texture. To ensure a creamy texture, we shake our ice cream mixture as it freezes. The reason we put salt on the ice is to create an environment that is below freezing. This is done, because when salt is added to the salt, salt mixes with the water in the ice, physically interfering with the tendency of the water molecules to line up into the crystal structure of ice. This lowers the freezing point of the ice, making the solid ice much colder.

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