STEAM Saturday – Why Do Apples Turn Brown? (11/4/2023)

Brown Apples

We are well into fall, and that means it’s apple season! Apple pie, apple cider, apple butter… We are in apple heaven! But one thing that drives us crazy is how fast an apple turns brown once it is cut open. The folks at Left Brain Craft Brain have turned the brown apple dilemma in to a fun science experiment for kids of all ages. You and your little scientist can work together to see which method keeps your cut apples fresher for longer!

This is a wonderful opportunity to practice using the Scientific Method. This method helps provide a framework that can be used to solve problems, and helps develop your child’s critical thinking skills. The steps of the Scientific Method are as follows:

  1. Ask A Question
  2. Research
  3. Form a Hypothesis
  4. Design an Experiment
  5. Record and Analyze Data
  6. Draw a Conclusion

Click here to visit Left Brain Craft Brain and read more about the science behind this experiment and how to apply the Scientific Method!

Brown ApplesNow let’s find out the best method to keep our apples from browning! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apples, of course!
  • Honey (1 teaspoon honey mixed with 1 cup water)
  • Lemon juice (1 teaspoon juice mixed with 1 cup water)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon salt mixed with 1 cup water)
  • Vitamin C (1 tablet crushed and dissolved in 1 cup of water)
  • Lemon-lime soda
  • Carbonated water (bubble water)
  • Tap water
  • Experiment Control (we used the apple core)
  • Eight bowls (deep enough that an apple slice can be fully covered in the liquid solution)
  • Post Its or other label material
  • Pen or Pencil

Set out your eight bowls and label them so that you know which solution is going into which bowl. Next, mix each of your solutions. Now, cut a single apple into 8 slices that are approximately the same size. Place one slice in each bowl, and immediately cover it with the designated solution. Wait at least 5 minutes, and then use your judgment to decide when to pull your apple slices out of their solutions.

When you’re ready, remove the apples from the solutions. Check each one to see how brown it has gotten. You can also do a taste test. Record the results for each of the solutions to determine which one did the best job of keeping the apple white, and which tasted the best.

What a fun and (red) delicious way to learn together!

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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