July 17th, 2024

Science Smarts: Bon appétit

By Patty Rooks on June 22, 2024.

I can hardly believe we are approaching the end of the school year already! Where does the time go these days?

I do not know about you, but as the school year draws to an end, I find myself a bit more tired on the weekend and perhaps sleep in a little bi. The fun part about sleeping in is we always have a wonderful family breakfast those days. I thought I would share the science behind one of my families favourite breakfast foods; a little pancake science today. Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


– Frying pan

– Stove

– Measuring cups

– Measuring spoons

– Eggs

– Milk

– Flour

– Baking powder

– Sugar

– Vanilla

– Salt

– Mixing bowls


1. Measure 300 mL (1 ¼ cups) milk and pour it into the bowl. Add two eggs, 5 mL (one teaspoon) of vanilla, and 45 mL (three tablespoons) of oil to a bowl.

2. Mix this well.

3. In a separate bowl, measure and add 350 mL (1 ½ cups) of flour, 2.5 mL (1/2 teaspoon of salt), 30 mL (two tablespoons) of sugar, 15 mL (three teaspoons) of baking powder.

4. Stir well.

5. Add the wet to the dry and stir JUST until most of the lumps are gone.

6. Have an adult help you turn on the stove and cook your pancakes.

7. NOW make another batch EXACTLY the same BUT leave out the BAKING POWDER.

8. Compare your pancakes.

9. What do you notice?

What is going on?

Of course, our pancakes will vary in size, what you will be looking for here is how fluffy or how much did your pancake grow.

When you used the baking powder in the experiment, you used what we call a leavening agent which creates a chemical reaction in this mixture. The baking powder will release bubbles of carbon dioxide when it reacts with the liquids in this experiment. As these bubbles form, they grow and grow and grow creating a light a fluffy pancake! The pancake WITHOUT baking powder will be much flatter.

Patty Rooks, senior scientific consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at praxis@praxismh.ca, http://www.praxismh.ca, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: 12 826 11th Street SE, Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email: praxis@praxismh.ca.

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