# science of cooking lab

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Question description

If you randomly take a piece of candy from a bag, how much will it weigh? It seems like a simple question, and in many ways it is a simple question, but the procedure we use to answer that question will dramatically influence how reliable the answer is when we move on to the next piece of candy in the bag. Measuring a physical quantity involves not just getting “the” answer (how much did the one piece of candy weigh), but also including some indication of how much that answer can be trusted or repeated (how confident you can be that the next piece you take will weigh the same amount). The goal of this lab is to use a straight forward set-up to begin to understand how to collect, analyze, and interpret data from a scientific experiment.

You will need:

1. Approximately 20 to 50 small candies (m&m’s, jelly beans, gummy bears, etc) or other small food objects (dried beans, nuts, etc).
2. Kitchen scale (set to grams)
3. Notebook or computer to record data

paigenykole
School: Cornell University

Hi, this is my final report. Please let me know if there are any changes you would like me to make as well as corrections or elaborating more on answers. Hope you like it!
Attached.

Mass of a Food Object

Name:___________________________

If you randomly take a piece of candy from a bag, how much will it weigh? It seems like a simple question, and in many
ways it is a simple question, but the procedure we use to answer that question will dramatically influence how reliable the
answer is when we move on to the next piece of candy in the bag. Measuring a physical quantity involves not just getting
“the” answer (how much did the one piece of candy weigh), but also including some indication of how much that answer
can be trusted or repeated (how confident you can be that the next piece you take will weigh the same amount). The goal
of this lab is to use a straight forward set-up to begin to understand how to collect, analyze, and interpret data from a
scientific experiment.
You will need:
1. Approximately 20 to 50 small candies (m&m’s, jelly beans, gummy bears, etc) or other small
food objects (dried beans, nuts, etc).
2. Kitchen scale (set to grams)
3. Notebook or computer to record data

Procedure:
1. Get a cup of a single type of candy. You will be weighing varying numbers of candies to determine the mass of a
single candy. Be sure to note the candy type. Take a picture of your candy set up that includes a card with your name
written on it. **NOTE: Without this picture you will automatically lose half of the points on this lab*
2. Use your scale to weigh some number of candy pieces.
1) Make sure the scale is sitting flat on the table.
2) Place an empty cup on the scale and tap the “tare” or “zero” button. This will set the scale at zero. If you do
not have an electronic scale, make sure to write down the mass of the empty cup and subtract it from each of
3) Place the desired number of candies into the cup on the scale and record the value.
3. Now dump out your candies from the cup, replace the cup and re-zero the scale, and then weigh a different number of
candies. Repeat until you have measured the mass of at least 9 different numbers of candies following the guidelines:
Guidelines:
a. Weigh at least 5 candies each time (10 if using smaller/lighter candies). This will prevent you from getting
readings too small to be accurate.
b. Don’t just keep adding pieces. After each weighing, dump out the candies that were just weighed back into your
candy pile and re-count a new number of candies. This is so you get a random sample of candy each time.
c. Weigh a broad range of numbers of candy pieces. For example, do not just weigh 10 then 11 then 12 then 13
candies--spread the numbers out more. You want a wide range of masses
d. Don’t worry about making sure you have “even” numbers of candies (ie. 12, 14, 16, 18). Your candy counts don’t
have to be evenly spaced, and even spacing won’t make the mathematical analysis any easier.
3. “Dispose” of your candy in the manner you feel is most appropriate.

Data Collection:
Collect your data the data table below:
Candy Type:

Sour skittles

Number of Pieces:

Mass of Candy (grams):

Mass per Candy (grams/candy)

Observations:

6

6.6

1.1

Observations under table.

8

8.9

1.1125

16

17.1

1.069

33

35.8

1.085

13

14.5

1.1154

17

18.2

1.0706

11

11.8

1.073

51

55.7

1.0922

42

46

1.095

Observations: The larger the number of pieces of candy, the more variability exists between the mass per
candy. This could be due to the...

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Anonymous
Thanks, good work

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