September 24th, 2020

Praxis: Cocoa science

By Patty Rooks on January 11, 2020.

I don’t know about you, but my I am soooo cold as I sit at my computer to write the science column for this week. Over the winter, the weather has been quite seasonable really. A bit cold, but tolerable overall in my opinion. Southern Alberta has not received that COLD snap that I truly feel seasons you for the bitter cold temperatures. With the thermometer dropping this weekend, I thought what better way to stay warm than to investigate some delicious coca science. Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


– kettle

– water

– ice

– three spoons

– three cups

– timer

– three packages of cocoa

– measuring cup

– kitchen thermometer (optional)

– science notebook

– pencil

– tape

– marker


1. Like any good scientist, you should take a moment and make a hypothesis in you science notebook. Try to base your hypothesis on this question: Does the temperature of the water affect how fast the cocoa will dissolve in the water?.

2. Label the three cups with the tape and marker: tap water, boiling water, ice water.

3. Measure and fill one cup with 250 mL (one cup) of tap water.

4. Have your timer ready.

5. Open the package of cocoa and add it to the mug.

6. Start the timer, and carefully stir constantly.

7. Record the time it took for all of the cocoa to dissolve in the mug.

8. Set aside.

9. Repeat with the second cup. This time use ice water.

10. Record your results.

11. Repeat one more time. Have an adult help you boil the kettle and measure 250 mL (one cup). CAREFULLY pour this water into a mug.

12. Start the timer, and carefully stir constantly.

13. Record the time it took for all of the cocoa to dissolve in the mug.

14. Enjoy the cocoa!!

What is going on?

You should have discovered that the hot water took the least amount of time to dissolve the package of cocoa. This is because hot water contains more energy. The molecules in the water are moving much faster, which helps break the cocoa down a lot faster.

This is a good basis for an introductory science fair project. From here you could test if the changes in temperature makes a difference. Should it be boiling or just hot? There are endless possibilities. I would love to see your science fair projects at your school or the Regional Science Fair at Medicine Hat College on March 21! Remember I am here to help your class or science club with their Science Fair projects any day of the week. Call or email me today as my schedule is filling up fast!!

Patty Rooks, Senior Scientific Consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community”. Contact Praxis at,, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: #12 826 11 Street S. E., Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email:

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