Day 3: Carbohydrates

Learn about the science of carbohydrates and apply that to determining the amount of sugar in drinks you like as well as experimenting with the oxidation of apples

Activities in this lesson: 1. Think About Your Drink Video & Handout 2. Apple Oxidation Experiment 3. Rock Candy Experiment

You’ve probably heard a lot about carbohydrates lately as low-carb diets like the keto diet have gained popularity….but what exactly are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are a macromolecule (large molecule) made of repeating sugar units. They are called carbohydrates because they are made up of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Simple sugars can hook together to make long complex chains, such as starch (found in potatoes, corn, wheat) and cellulose (found in the cell walls of plants). While carbs are found in many unhealthy foods like donuts and cake, carbs themselves are not “bad”…in fact, they are the only source of energy that your brain can use! The goal is to choose healthy carbs, such as those from fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat.

Sucrose (the sugar you use in baking) is a disaccharide made of two single sugars hooked together. The smaller the sugar, the easier it is for the body to break down, so they all reach the blood at the same time. This spike in blood sugar can cause a period of feeling hyper, followed by a crashing feeling as the blood sugar drops rapidly. Sodas and other sweet drinks have more sugar in them than you probably think!

The video below will allow you to estimate and visualize the amount of sugar in common beverages, as well as introduce you to some of the associated health risks. Use the attached handout to keep track of the nutrition info in the video, and then after watching the video you can try it at home with some of your own favorite drinks!

Click Here for the Think About Your Drinks handout

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of carbohydrates…that’s why most of them taste sweet. They also contain a type of carbohydrate called fiber which has a lot of benefits for digestion. In this experiment we will be focusing on apples and why they turn brown when cut. You will experiment with various solutions to see which is the best at preventing the browning process

Use the disaccharide sucrose (sugar) to make your own rock candy at home!

Click Here for Rock Candy Lab

If you have any questions about an activity or need any help, please contact: Lindsey Johnson or Laurie Hayes


Various drinks (or online nutrition facts for drinks) 9
Apple 1
Salt 1
Sugar 1
Lemon juice 1
Honey 1
Juice (apple and/or orange) 1
Vinegar 1
Build date: 2020-07-13 16:03:10.924443224 +0000 UTC m=+0.087918981