Thanksgiving Science: 6 Experiments You Can Do With Food


Thanksgiving is not only a time to gather with loved ones and enjoy a delicious feast but also an opportunity to explore the wonders of science. With all the food on the table, it becomes an excellent platform for conducting simple yet fascinating experiments. Let’s dive into six amazing Thanksgiving-inspired science experiments you can conduct using readily available food items.

Experiment 1: Dance of the Raisins

– Items needed: Raisins, a clear glass, soda (i.e., Sprite or club soda)

– Procedure: Fill the glass halfway with soda, drop in a handful of raisins and watch them bob up and down. This happens because carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the rough surface of the raisins, causing them to float to the surface. Once they reach the surface, the gas is released, and they sink back down.

Experiment 2: Cranberry Color Changes

– Items needed: Fresh cranberries, baking soda, vinegar, three clear glasses

– Procedure: Fill one glass with water, another with a mixture of water and baking soda (1 teaspoon per cup), and the last one with a mixture of water and vinegar (1 teaspoon per cup). Drop some fresh cranberries into each glass and observe how their colors change based on acidity levels.

Experiment 3: Making Butter

– Items needed: Heavy cream, a jar with a lid

– Procedure: Pour heavy cream into the jar until it is half full. Tightly close the jar and shake vigorously for approximately 10 minutes or until butter forms. The agitation separates butterfat from the liquid, eventually forming solid butter.

Experiment 4: Pineapple Enzyme Magic

– Items needed: Fresh pineapple, gelatin powder, water

– Procedure: Prepare gelatin according to package instructions but add crushed fresh pineapple before letting it set in the fridge. Observe that the gelatin doesn’t set as it typically would. This is due to an enzyme called bromelain present in fresh pineapple that breaks down gelatin.

Experiment 5: Sweet Potato Propagation

– Items needed: Sweet potato, toothpicks, a jar with water

– Procedure: Suspend the sweet potato in the jar of water with toothpicks, pointed end down. Over time, watch out for roots and shoots emerging from the potato. This demonstrates how new plants can grow from vegetative propagation.

Experiment 6: Disappearing Marshmallow Experiment

– Items needed: Marshmallows, microwave-safe plate, microwave

– Procedure: Arrange several marshmallows on a microwave-safe plate, leaving space between them. Microwave on high for approximately 30 seconds and observe how they expand due to the air inside the marshmallows heating up and causing them to puff up.


Thanksgiving provides a unique opportunity to turn your dining table into a makeshift science lab. These six fun and easy experiments help demonstrate various scientific principles while simultaneously fostering curiosity and learning. So go ahead, gather your family around and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast that feeds both your stomachs and your minds!