Casein lab preps 8th graders for Chemistry unit

Casein lab preps 8th graders for Chemistry unit
Posted on 01/07/2022
Milk Polymer Ornament

Students in Mrs. Reichert’s & Ms. Storey’s 8th grade science classes completed a milk to plastic lab on December 20th that resulted in hand-crafted Christmas tree ornaments. As an introduction to the Chemistry unit they will be starting this January, students isolated the protein polymers in milk (casein) through heat and pH changes. 

Students first heated their milk. Next, they added vinegar to disrupt the micelle structures, creating curds. Using a coffee filter, they strained the whey off of the curds. After kneading the curds to form a dough, they flattened it and, using cookie cutters, pressed out holiday shapes, which will dry over the next 24 hours.

For more visuals of the process, check out our SHMS Twitter and Facebook accounts.