25 Days of STEAM: Making Starch
25 Days of STEAM: Day Twenty-One
This hands-on science activity is a fun way to introduce children to carbohydrates. We recommend it for children 7 and up!
As with all science experiments, safety is extremely important! We always recommend wearing safety goggles. Parent supervision is required.
Supplies You’ll Need:
- 5 Large Potatoes
- Two Bowls
- Safety Goggles
- Peel each of the potatoes and then grate them into a bowl.
- Fill-up the bowl with water so that all of the potatoes are covered. Use your fingers to squeeze the potatoes for several minutes.
- Wait half an hour and then repeat the previous step.
- Take the potatoes out of the bowl and run the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.
- Once the second bowl has collected all of the “cloudy water”, set it out on a countertop to dry.
What is happening?
If everything in this activity worked out, you will have noticed that the bowl is filled with white powder. This white powder is called starch – a complex carbohydrate. Starch is in many of the plants and foods we eat.
When we consume these food items – like potatoes – your body will then take the starch and convert it into sugar to be used as energy.
This entire process begins when you first consume the food. It starts in your mouth with the chemicals there helping to break it down. your digestive system takes the next few steps.
- Carbohydrates– (n.) the body’s largest source of energy and fuel.