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NDSU Food Scientists Teach Middle-Schoolers About Research

Sixth graders at Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo were treated to a hands-on food science lesson during their regular science class last week. Dr. Senay Simsek along with research specialists Kristin Whitney and Nathan Haugrud and graduate students Jane Snelling and Aslihan Unuvar were welcomed by Mr. Travis Hoeg to teach about the science of taste and how different ingredients are used in food applications.
NDSU Food Scientists Teach Middle-Schoolers About Research

NDSU food scientists with Mr. Travis Hoeg's sixth grade class

December 20, 2018

Sixth graders at Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo were treated to a hands-on food science lesson during their regular science class last week. Dr. Senay Simsek along with research specialists Kristin Whitney and Nathan Haugrud and graduate students Jane Snelling and Aslihan Unuvar were welcomed by Mr. Travis Hoeg to teach about the science of taste and how different ingredients are used in food applications.

Simsek and Whitney demonstrated a reaction that occurs when two food additive ingredients are mixed together. They showed how mixing these two additives transforms them into a gel like substance. Haugrud, Unuvar and Snelling conducted two demonstrations with the students including a simple experiment about density using sugar free and regular soda drinks. Their other experiment was a taste test of candy that highlighted the importance of the sense of smell and explained why we can’t taste our food as well when we have a cold or a stuffy nose.

Mr. Hoeg thanked the scientists, saying, “It was awesome to see my students so excited and the Oohs and Aahs come out of their mouths with the fascination that you brought out in them.” He reminded the students how he asked them early in the school year to describe their idea of a scientist and said, “Today you get to see real scientists at work.”

Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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