SaH: “Plastic” Milk

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Another experiment mixing art with science. During this chemical reaction, watch milk change from a liquid to a solid. You can use the product of this experiment to make an ornament or a sun catcher for your windows at home. Share pictures of your result below!

 

Question

What happens when you add vinegar to milk?

 

Materials

  • Milk
  • Vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Microwave
  • Strainer
  • Paper towel
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Cookie cutters (optional)

 

What to Do

  1. Put 1 cup of milk in a bowl and microwave for 1.5 minutes.
  • You want the milk to be hot, but not boiling.
  1. Stir in 4 tablespoons of vinegar.
  2. As you stir, the milk will start to clump. Keep stirring for one minute.
  3. Strain the milk. Push on the clumps to get out as much liquid as possible.
  4. Transfer the clumps to a paper towel. You can shape it using your hands or cookie cutters as a pattern. Feel free to add some food coloring to brighten it up.
  5. Allow your design to dry and harden for two nights then you can use it to decorate your house!

 

What is Happening?

The acid in the vinegar breaks down some of the proteins in the milk. These proteins become long and tangle up together separating from the rest of the liquid part of the milk. If you leave these proteins out to dry, they will become hard!

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