Fun Science, the UK based franchise making science accessible for kids, has published the results of their biscuit-dunking “Big Experiment”.
The Big Experiment was designed to provide entertainment and satisfy curiosity during the lockdown brought about by COVID-19. Children and parents across the UK were asked to dunk three types of branded biscuit into water. Using an online metronome provided by the company, participants were able to determine exactly how many four-second dunks it took for a biscuit to break.
99 groups of children and families took part in the experiment, meaning that 297 biscuits from 28 brands were dunked a total of 4582 times – that’s over five hours of dunking! The results were then compiled into a handy infographic, illustrating the numbers involved and presenting the results.
The winner was the Sainsbury’s dark chocolate digestive, surviving 135 dunks. The Jacob’s high fibre cracker was close behind at 129, then third place saw the McVitie’s plain chocolate digestive survive an average of 58 dunks. It is worth noting, however, that the first two winners had only a single tester each. In a more serious experiment, the results would be more accurate if each biscuit could be tested a similar number of times.
As well as finding the best biscuit for dunking, the project also introduced children to the scientific method by emphasising the importance of repeated results. By following the instructions, even very young children were able to understand the function of controlled conditions – an understanding that will serve them well in the laboratory.
Hardly an unusual example for Fun Science, the Big Experiment was just one of many home activities designed by the company. As social distancing forced parties and workshops to be postponed, Fun Science created a series of home kits to be delivered to the homes of young scientists. They have also published many free experiments on their blog, as well as commissioning CosWatch, a stargazing blog for children covering everything from the International Space Station to the Andromeda Galaxy.
For similar activities, visit https://fun-science.org.uk/.