On June 15th, 2019, BrainSTEM Alliance hosted its first STEAM Tea Party at the Oil Sands Discover Centre thanks to sponsorship from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The event allowed for community members of all ages to come out and learn about food science and engineering in a fun tea party setting!
The day was split into a morning and afternoon session. In the morning we had 14 adults and 20 children and youth, and even a couple babies! In the afternoon we had 15 adults and 14 kids come out for the festivities!
The session started out with, you guessed it, tea! We had Sarjesa tea, which is an Aboriginal focused tea company, and the participants learned a bit about the indigenous ingredients like sage and mint, and got to sample a few flavors! Students also used their thermometers to measure their perfect temperature of tea. 🙂
To speed up the cooling process, some kids used littlebits to make their own tea cooling devices! They used batteries, wires, switches, buttons and motors with fans.
Tea goes well with lemon and lime, so the families did a little pH testing of the acidity in lemons and limes. Then they learned a bit about taste science and how our tastebuds work with mberry. These little tablets make sour things sweet by blocking certain taste receptors! Yum!
Tea still needs a little bit of a sweetener sometimes so we had a sugar cube challenge! Who can make the tallest sugar cube tower?! Then they learned about absorption, allowing different food dyes to absorb up their sugar cube stacks.
Tea parties still need a little bit more sweetness, like marshmallows! But these aren’t ordinary marshmallows, each color represents an atom from the periodic table. Participants had to work together to make molecular models of water, sugar and caffeine molecules, using their marshmallows! We had some awesome chemists in the making!
At the end of it all, everyone had some yummy eats, and a few even got craftsy, making wonderful father’s day cards with awesome STEM stickers, like “You’re so Rad” and “Super Star”!