Sunday, July 22, 2012

Measuring S'more Gooeyness

One day I was making S'mores in the microwave.

I noticed that the directions on the package of chocolate bars and package of marshmallows disagreed with each other. Chocolate: 10 to 15 seconds on medium. Marshmallows: 15 to 20 seconds on high. This was especially odd since both packages suggested using the other product to create the S'mores. (Honey Maid Graham Crackers remained neutral with no suggestions for how to make your S'more.)

I saw some potential for this in a math lesson. So I made S'mores with varying times in the microwave (10 seconds on high, 20 seconds on high, and 1 minute on high).

I took height measurements for each scenario. First 0 seconds...

Then 10 seconds...

Then 20 seconds...

Then 1 minute...

But none of these measurements seemed like a satisfying way to measure gooeyness, especially since 10 seconds and 20 seconds appeared to have the same height. This would have to be a qualitative experiment. So I ate them.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference. For me, 10 seconds (top) was perfect. 20 seconds (bottom left) was too messy, and 1 minute destroyed my tongue. Unfortunately, I don't see this as something I can use in math class. Any suggestions?

Nathan Kraft

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