With marshmallows, edible markers, and a house full of children, it was inevitable, that we'd end up making a marshmallow snowman, or two.
Of course, since we are homeschoolers, and this is Sunday, and there's a Science Sunday link up going on over at Adventures in Mommydom (at least there should be, sometime later today), it was also inevitable, that we wouldn't stop there. (If you're looking for instructions for making marshmallow snowmen, check out The Decorated Cookie, hers are adorable.)
Armed with a printout from the Exploratorium, with the heading of, "The Accidental Scientist, Science of Cooking", we popped our marshmallow creations into the microwave for 30 seconds, and watched while they expanded to four times their original size. It's actually really cool. There was a lot of oohing, aawing, and happy exclaiming (and, the kids got excited too!).
Then, after we removed them, we watched as they deflated, and hardened into shape. To find out what's happening on a molecular level, click the Exploratorium link above.
We discovered that right out the microwave the the marshmallows were all warm, gooey, sugary goodness. But, once they cooled, they turned into hard, crunchy, sugary goodness.
And, before too much sugar could be consumed, we moved on to a discovery of the nature of sugar crystals, and how easily they dissolve in water, as we rinsed them off of the dishes, the microwave, the table, the counter tops, and the floor.
It's great to be a homeschooler.