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Science Projects for Kids: Nutrition and Health


Good Taste
Check your taste threshold for sweetness and saltiness.
Check your taste threshold for sweetness and saltiness.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Did you know that everyone has a taste threshold for certain types of taste? It may be a good taste or a bad taste, but regardless, when you reach your threshold, you're likely to say "Enough!" Your taste threshold is the point at which you decide that something you've tasted is too sweet, for example, or too salty.

Now try this fun project that tests your sweetness and saltiness threshold. You can do it by yourself, but it's more fun with a partner.

What You'll Need:

  • Measuring cup
  • 11 plastic cups
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper and pen
  • Tape

Step 1: Mix 1-2/3 cups water and 1/4 cup sugar -- this will make a 12.5% sugar solution. Pour this into a plastic cup labeled "12.5% SUGAR."

Step 2: Add 1/2 cup of this solution to 1-1/2 cups water -- this will make a 3.1% sugar solution -- and label it "3.1% SUGAR."

Step 3: Add 1/2 cup of the 3.1% SUGAR solution to 1-1/2 cups water -- this will make a 0.78% sugar solution -- and label it "0.78% SUGAR."

Step 4: Add 1/2 cup of the 0.78% SUGAR solution to 1-1/2 cups water -- this will make a 0.19% sugar solution -- and label it "0.19% SUGAR."

Step 5: Make a series of salt solutions, following the above directions but using salt instead of sugar.

Step 6: Rinse your mouth with water, and dry your tongue with a paper towel.

Step 7: Keeping the solutions out of your sight, have a partner place a clean cotton swab in one of the solutions and then put it on the middle of your tongue.

Step 8: Tell your partner if you can taste the solution and if it is sweet or salty. Your partner should write down whether or not you could taste the solution.

Step 9: Rinse your mouth and dry it, and have your partner try a different solution and record your response. Keep doing this until all the solutions are tested. Switch roles with your partner and let him or her do the tasting.

Which solutions could you taste, and which could you not taste? Was salt harder or easier to detect than sugar?

Ready for an outdoor activity? Find out how to determine the path of ball. It's all on the next page of science projects for kids: nutrition and health.

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