Butter Up

Butter Up

Marbles Rings

Butter is made by separating the fat molecules from the liquid in cream. When you shake cream for a period of time, the fat molecules clump together into a solid called butter. The liquid that is separated from the fat is called buttermilk. 

What You Need: 

  • A glass jar with a lid  
  • Heavy whipping cream 
  • Marbles (optional) 

What You Do: 

  1. Fill the jar halfway with cream.  
  2. Add marbles if you’d like to speed up the process.  
  3. Put the lid on and double check that it’s super tight. 
  4. Shake the jar for about 15 minutes. 
  5. About 2 minutes in, the cream turns into whipped cream.  Try a bit and continue shaking. At the end you’ll have a solid mass of butter and liquid buttermilk. 
  6. Rinse the butter in cold water after it’s formed.  
  7. Spread on a slice of bread or a muffin and enjoy! 

Words to Use: 

  • Liquid: A substance that is not a solid or gas.   
  • Solid: Hard or firm. 
  • Molecules: The smallest unit into which any substance can be divided without losing its own chemical nature. 
  • Persistence: Determination to do something even though it is difficult. 

What to Talk About: 

  • Observe the liquid state at the beginning and solid state at the end. 
  • Did it start to feel different the longer you shook the jar? Why do you think so? 
  • Listen.  How does the shaking jar sound at the beginning? Is it different towards the end? 
  • Try the buttermilk.  Does it taste different than regular milk? How come? 

Change It Up:  

  • Adding glass marbles to the jar speeds up the process.  If you use marbles, make sure your glass jar is thick enough (ex: mason jar) so the marbles don’t break the glass.  
  • Collaborate with friends.  Pass the jar around to share the work. 
  • Season your butter with some salt, honey, or herbs when it’s formed. 

Learning Connections:  

  • Collaboration 
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Curiosity 
  • Persistence 
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)  

Curriculum Connections: 
NC Standard Course of Study 

  • Science: K.P.2.1, EX.1.P.2.1, 2.P.2.1, EX.2.P.2.1, 3.P.2.2, 4.P.3.1, 5.P.2.3 

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