Pasta Chem Lab | News | Bishop Watterson

Pasta Chem Lab


What do AP chemistry and pasta have in common? In Dr. Nic's class, making a pasta dish served as a flavorful (and hopefully memorable) vehicle through which he was able to illustrate several critical
lessons in chemistry.

For example, the first question in the pre-lab assignment required the students to use a colligative properties formula and molar conversions to estimate the temperature at which the pasta water would boil after having added a certain amount of salt.

Then, having learned the criteria by which olive oil is classified as "extra virgin olive oil," the students had to employ some creative math calculations in order to determine how many hydrogen atoms from Oleic acid were in the 10 milliliters of E.V.O. that was used in the recipe.

Dr. Nic is experimenting with different teaching to help his students master some of the chemistry concepts in a non-traditional way. And, in what better way is there to swallow the topic of "stoichiometric analysis" than with flavorful dishes from Italy!