Kitchen Chemistry: Girl Scouts explore food science with NYU-Poly's American Chemical Society


Members of the Girls Scout Council of Greater New York get some hands-on exposure to the chemistry of bread-making.

Polytechnic Institute of NYU’s American Chemical Society (PACS) hosted the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York on March 14 as they explored the “Chemistry of Cooking.”

NYU-Poly students demonstrated the chemistry behind everyday kitchen activities in an effort to inspire the scouts’ appreciation of science and spark their curiosity about basic chemistry concepts.

The scouts conducted a bread-making experiment that taught them that understanding chemistry is not only good for their brains, but also for their taste-buds. By testing the different components and techniques of bread-making – from how the dough is kneaded to the temperature used to bake it to the amount of yeast used – the scouts learned that a mastery of cooking chemistry can make them better bakers and chefs.

PACS students also taught the scouts about the nutritional value of the ingredients (salt, sugar, flour, yeast, water, and milk) they used to make the bread, which helped them to think about their creations on a molecular level.

The American Chemistry Society 2009 Local Section Partnership Project helped to fund this event. PACS acknowledges NYU-Poly’s TC Westcott, Vice President of Finance and Administration, the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, all student volunteers who participated, and Lackmann Culinary Services for their time and support.