FunKids Radio and the RSC have teamed up again, and chemistry superhero K-Mistry has returned to introduce children to the chemistry they can find all around them, in their kitchen!

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group materials together according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.
  • Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.
  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • In simple terms, what happens during the process of dissolving.
  • That when a chemical reaction occurs new products are formed and that these changes are often irreversible.
  • What is meant by the terms ‘reversible’ and ‘irreversible change’

Suggested activity use

This activity could be used as a whole class investigation, with different groups of children investigating different fruits and their effects on the setting of jelly.

It could also be used as a stimulus to look at variables affecting the rate at which jelly cubes dissolve, for example: the liquid being used; the colour of the jelly; the sizes of cubes used; whether the liquid is stirred; and the temperature of the liquid.

Practical considerations

You will need a variety of different equipment and ingredients to carry out the activity, such as a range of fresh and tinned fruit and a food processor to prepare the fruit. If you or the children decide to investigate the effect of temperature on dissolving, you will need heating and/or cooling facilities.

To understand why different fruits affect the setting of jelly, you will need to provide a clear explanation of what enzymes are and how they work.

Be aware of any allergies to the fruits being investigated.