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Instant ice-cream

  • Key Stage 3
  • Topical

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Construction
Topic: States of matter

This activity aims to show science skills put to use in a career. Students take on the role of a marketeer trying to sell a new instant ice-cream vending machine. They have been asked to put together an animation for the website, explaining the science behind the process of mixing the flavour and quick freezing. Using PowerPoint’s simple animation features, together with a specially created gallery of images, they can tell the ‘inside story’ visually. The activity offers an opportunity to assess students’ understanding of: ‘Scientific thinking’ and ‘Particle models’.

A Department for Children, Schools and Families initiative to promote subject choice and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) delivered by the Centre for Science Education at Sheffield Hallam University and VT Enterprise.

This activity is adapted from the Cook! unit of upd8’s exciting new 11-14 course - ‘wikid’. Find out more here.

Published: 3rd February 2009
Reviews & Comments: 6

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Learning objectives

What we want students to understand:
• Models represent what is going on in situations.
• Some models are better than others

• What is important when developing a model?
• How can I use ICT to make a model?

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

Apply and use the particle model to describe a range of physical observations
(Programme of Study 1.1; Strategy Framework 3.1)

Running the activity

Detailed information in downloadable teachers guide.

• Starter - setting the task
• Making the animation
• Judging the animations

News links

Chartered Institute of Marketing
The Chartered Institute of Marketing is an international professional marketing body with around 50,000 members worldwide.
Taret jobs
An informative web page entitled 'How do I get a job in marketing?'
A good place to look for information on possible careers
A careers database detailing very many jobs including those in the marketing family

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?

Instant ice-cream review

Apr 10th, 2013

4 Star

Great, fun activity. Takes a long time though. Used with lower ability Year 8 and they loved it. The focus was on two aspects of the particle model, mixing and changing from liquid to solid. Will use again.

Reviewer: Sarah Jakoby


Jan 10th, 2013

5 Star

Worked really well with Yr9's

Reviewer: Sarfraz Shah

Solids, liquids and Gases

Mar 4th, 2011

5 Star

A really good activity, helped me learn more about the subject and do some revision on bits I struggle with!

Reviewer: Anna O'Beirne

Instant Ice cream

Jul 6th, 2010

5 Star

Did this as an activity with the science club - they loved it! Brilliant for me as there was no nightmare risk assessment to do and it was an excellent intro to colloid science. This activity could easily amended for KS5 use.

Reviewer: Jo Christopher

Instant ice-cream review

Sep 11th, 2009

5 Star

Such a simple activity but so effective. Works well with smoothies and yoghurt too.

Reviewer: Anne Willis

Instant ice-cream review

Jun 15th, 2009

5 Star

The ice cream activity was brilliant.

Reviewer: Patricia Brooks-Dickens