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The Kolbe Online Academy “Introduction to Physics and Chemistry” class (section 4) conducted a lab experiment to investigate how varying different ingredients would affect cookie recipes. These students are mostly 9th graders, but older and younger students also take the class as it suits their curricula. It was a fun project. Here was the assignment.

  1. Choose a cookie recipe. It can be chocolate chip or anything else you prefer.
  2. Pick ONE ingredient to vary. Do not pick two. Only vary the amount, not the kind. That is, vary salt, eggs, or flour, but do not vary the kinds of nuts or chips added.
  3. Decide how much to vary the one ingredient. One of your tests should use the amount the recipe calls for. For example, in class I made three batches of chocolate chip cookies and varied the amount of baking soda like this: 0 tsp, 1 tsp (as the recipe called for), and 2 tsp.
  4. After you bake your cookies, take a poll around your home (family, friends, but not pets!) and find out if people like one version of the cookie better than another. You could put this data into a table for your lab report.
  5. Write the lab report using the formal lab report template. NOTE: If your experiment isn’t too great the first time around, it is OK. Just write the report based on what you did. You do not have to repeat the experiment. Have fun! Try hard, but do not stress if something unexpected happens. That’s science!

Here are some screen shots from my home laboratory the day we covered the lab in our online class. Just to give you a little background, the class meets through Adobe Connect. The students chat, answer questions, and occasionally turn on their video cameras. My children were my assistants. On the day of class, we baked chocolate chip cookies with varied amounts of baking soda to demonstrate how to do the experiment at home. All of my students were at their computers in their homes watching and chatting with us. While the cookies baked, we played a review game to get ready for the exam the following week.

Cookie ClassCookie Class 2

And here are some of the students’ reports. Their parents gave permission to share, but the students’ names have been removed for privacy. Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cookie Experiment

Molasses Cookie Experiment

Healthiest Cookie Experiment

Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment (butter varied)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment (flour varied)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment (baking soda varied)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Experiment (baking soda varied)