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STEM at Home: The Science of Taste!

Ever wondered why you can taste so many different flavors! Let's find out how!  

Tasty Treats Play Tips

Experiment Materials  

Experiment

Step 1:  Fill each of the five bowls with salt, honey, lemon, raw cocoa, and soy sauce.  

  • Tip: Each bowl needs to be filled for just a small taste. 

Step 2: Have your kid(s) hold their nose closed so that they cannot smell. Then have them taste each ingredient. 

Step 3: As your kids are tasting each ingredient ask them to think about where on their tongue, they taste that ingredient. 

Step 4:  Have your kid(s) mark on their blank tongue PDF where they think the different taste receptors are. 

Step 5: Repeat the taste test this time without your kid(s) holding their noses. 

Did this make a difference in where they tasted on their tongue? Did not holding their nose cause any of the ingredients to taste different? 

Science Behind It: On your tongue you have small bumps inside these bumps are your taste buds. Taste buds are tiny nerve receptors. When saliva breaks down food as we chew it makes the food partials small enough to be absorbed by our taste buds. When our taste buds absorb a food, it sends a signal to the brain telling the brain what flavor you are eating. There are five basic qualities of taste salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and savory. Spicy is not a quality of taste it is actually a pain response. Savory foods tend to evoke pleasant feelings in people. Savory flavors are a signal to our brains that the food we are eating is rich in protein. 

LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL IDEAS FOR AT-HOME PLAY? CLICK HERE FOR MORE VIDEOS, BLOGS, AND RESOURCES!

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