Burke's Students Harness Green Technologies

Sixth graders in Dr. Tone Rawlings’ science class recently tried out a technique that’s making international news when they attempted to make plastic-less, or edible, water bottles. The technology has been in the news quite a bit lately, as the British company Skipping Rocks Lab is prototyping a way to deliver vital hydration without using the plastic that crowds our natural landscapes. The method involves creating a membrane that can contain liquid but is completely safe to consume. So naturally, the sixth grade tackled the same project as a part of its study of the properties of water! Dr. Rawlings walked her students through the process of spherification, which involved dissolving sodium alginate into one bowl of water and calcium lactate into another bowl of water. Transferring small amounts of the sodium alginate solution into the calcium lactate bath resulted in balls of water that sixth graders then sampled for themselves — though the gelatinous membrane was not the tastiest thing they’d ever consumed.

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