Making learning and teaching science fun is a big deal when working with STEM concepts. To some people Science, Technology, Engineering and Math can seem bland. But this British ice cream genius, Charlie Francis has created a glow-in-the-dark ice cream. What more could you ask for when teaching kids and making the STEM concepts stick?
By using synthesized jellyfish proteins — the same ones that allow these marine animals to produce light inside their bodies- Francis has given more than the gift of a tasty treat. He’s given students a teachers a fun way to look at STEM learning.
The only snag is, the glowing confection costs around $220 a scoop. So don’t expect to find it on supermarket shelves anytime soon, if ever.
On the upside, Francis says the product “tastes pretty good” and it doesn’t appear to be dangerous. “I don’t seem to be glowing anywhere,” he added.
(Proteins get broken down by our digestive system before entering the bloodstream, so there’s no reason to think he would end up glowing).
Francis is the owner of Lick Me I’m Delicious, which specializes in exotic ice cream flavors. They’ve experimented with more than two-hundred flavors, including roast beef, salted whiskey caramels, rhubarb chocolate macaroons, raspberry mojito, and cheddar cheese, Francis said in an email.
The so-called “edible inventor” began thinking about a glow-in-the-dark ice cream around six months ago while looking for a small red berry — known as miracle fruit — that when eaten, causes sour foods, like a lemon, to taste sweet like candy.
During this time, he came across a research paper on jellyfish and a property that allows them to emit light, called bioluminescence.
“I immediately started geeking up on the subject and eventually found a lab in China, where they are synthesizing the protein and I spoke to the scientists there who agreed to ship me over a sample,” Francis said. He’s really given educators some great material in making learning and teaching science fun.
Continue reading This Ice Cream Glows When You Lick It.