My sister has decided to home-school her children (all daughters, ranging from 5-14 years old) this year and has asked me, her physicist brother, for help creating a science curriculum. I would like to suggest to her to teach concepts using practical things so at the end of the year they will have useful skills.

I would like to have most of the concepts taught by cooking, but I'm not a great cook myself. So, I'm looking for suggestions for things that I may be overlooking. There are other questions here asking about the science of cooking, but are generally geared towards adults. I'm hoping to get ideas for something that teaches science to children and is useful for everyday cooking. Here are some of the things I have so far:

  • Maillard reaction
  • fermentation/yeast (making yogurt, kefir, sourdough)
  • Carmelization
  • Osmotic pressure (pickling, curing meat, etc)
  • Altitude effects (boiling point, adding flour, pressure cookers, etc)
  • thickeners (molecular structure, etc)
  • germs and bottling/preserving

Thank you for your help!

1 Answer 1


Those sound like fairly specific and advanced topics for the age range provided. These standard guidelines might help you with a way to think about how to approach this. With some knowledge about what kids should learn at various levels, you can determine how kitchen experiences could meet those needs.

I don't know if this question will remain open. In fact, you might get better answers here by posing a question like: How can I use the making of ice cream to illustrate the concept of states of matter?

Anyhow....I think you need to begin more broadly at first, then drill down with the help of curriculum guides.

Concepts that could be addressed in the kitchen:

The scientific process


State of matter

Chemical reactions

Mass, volume, forms of measurement

Acids and bases

basic math



  • You are probably right that my suggestions were too advanced (I'm about as good at teaching kids science as I am at cooking). My thought was to gear it towards the 11 year-old and done in such a way that the most basic concepts would be accessible to all of them. But most importantly, I wanted it to be fun (and tasty).
    – 06d4829aa8
    Aug 6, 2020 at 16:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.