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  • Sara Thompson

Hot Experiments To Do at Home

By Sara Thompson

Special to the Enterprise

Image credit is A Dap of Glue will Do


When the weather is cold and rainy, many of us like to stay inside with a warm drink. Sometimes those cups of hot chocolate can be a little too hot at first, but this experiment can help you find out how to quickly cool that hot cup.


Materials: mugs, water, milk, hot chocolate mix, spoons, thermometer, marshmallows, and a timer

Experiment: Add 6oz. of water to one mug and 6oz. of milk to another. Heat them in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Have an adult carefully remove the mugs as they will be very hot. Add one pouch of hot chocolate mix (or an even amount from a larger tub) and stir until completely dissolved. Use the thermometer to take the temperature of each mug and record the numbers. Is one warmer than the other? Next, place the same number of marshmallows on the top of each mug. Check on the mugs regularly (we recommend every minute) and record how long it takes for the marshmallows to melt.


Results: After dissolving the hot chocolate, the mug mixed with water was around 40 degrees higher than the mug mixed with milk. After adding the marshmallows, the mug mixed with water had most of the marshmallows melted after one minute, while the mug mixed with milk took over five minutes to melt the same number of marshmallows. Because marshmallows are made of sugar, they melted quicker in the water because it was hotter than the milk.


We hope you have fun with this tasty experiment and please be very careful with the hot mugs. Adult supervision is highly recommended.


Explorit's coming events:

• Winter Break Extended Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 27-28, open from 10am-2pm; Friday, Dec. 29, open from 10am-4pm. Wednesday-Thursday, Jan. 3-4, open from 10am-2pm; Friday, Jan. 5, open from 10am-4pm.

• Noon Year crafts, Sunday December 31 10am-2pm. Admission is $5 per person, Members and children under 2 free. Balloon Drop at 12:00pm.

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• Give the Gift of Science this holiday season. A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit https://www.explorit.org/membership or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

• Explorit is open Fridays from 1-4pm and Saturday and Sundays from 10am-2pm. The current exhibit is “Our WILD World”. Admission is $5 per person, free for Explorit Members and those aged 2 and under. Visit our museum store for holiday gift ideas for the whole family.

• Think of Explorit for you end of year giving and help us continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow: https://www.explorit.org/donate


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