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The Best Way to Learn Separation Science? Making Bubble Tea!

That's right, you read it correctly. The Year 7 students got to combine Science with as they studied Chemistry.

After a term of learning about separation, making solutions, and finding out what suspension is, all three classes got together for an afternoon of making bubble tea. The students got into groups of 3-4, set up a Trangia stove along the corridor, cooked boba pearls on it, sieved them out, cooked special brown sugar syrup, and eventually added all the ingredients together to complete the job.

Mr Yu designed this experiment as a tool to display Science in a way the students may not have seen it before. He brought learning together with action to reveal the processes of separation right in front of their eyes. Some students had been drinking bubble tea for years, while others had never tried it before, so it was an engaging way to learn about Science, culture, and teamwork. The flavours they made included brown sugar latte, traditional milk tea, and passionfruit tea.

The students were able to see the process of separation between the pearls and the syrup. As they cooked the pearls, students worked together to get a perfect consistency and then to separate it from the syrup – all the while making sure it did not overcook! With the leftover syrup, they mixed in brown sugar and stirred until it became a sticky concoction. This taught them about making solutions.

Suspension came into the picture when it was time to drink. As students added the pearls to the milk and syrup solution, suspension helped the pearls to float around.

The afternoon was brilliant; the Year 7 students were able to consolidate their learning in such a fun and practical way. As they tasted what they had made, they were elated! It was wonderful to watch young people support one another as a team. We had some great feedback from the students, with some asking where they could buy the ingredients to make bubble tea at home.

One of the best parts of the activity was not just the scientific side. It was the opportunity to experience the community that God has placed us in. It gave us as staff the chance to encourage the students and point out how incredibly God has made the world and the scientific processes that govern it. This year was the first time this experiment has been done. It is worth mentioning how all staff involved got alongside each other to make it as safe and stress-free as possible – from teachers to lab technicians, to EAs and even others willing to give up their classrooms to allow us the space. It was a big afternoon, but so worthwhile. The family community was highlighted as a theme throughout. It is a blessing to know that love underlies all that we do at Rehoboth.

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