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PECS students delve into tasty experiment

Ameliana Osceola. (Courtesy photo)

When Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School science teacher Renea Salzwedel Finney teaches, she thinks out of the box; the cookie box in this case.

Finney combined science with milk and cookies to teach about scientific methods, tools and safety for one tasty experiment Aug. 19.

Dubbed the “Great Cookie Dunk Lab,” Finney’s second, third and fourth graders had to predict whether a Chips Ahoy, Nilla Wafer, Nutter Butter and Oreo cookie would sink or float when dropped into a cup of milk.

The methods they used were very specific. First students had to pose the question; do cookies sink or float in milk? Second, they examined the cookies using a magnifying lens and brainstormed their observations about the cookies; did they have holes, cracks, were they heavy, small, filled?

Jaiden Fludd. (Courtesy photo)

Students then formed their hypothesis and made predictions about the cookies’ fate in the milk; would they sink or float? Then came the fun; students performed the experiment by dropping the cookies into milk and collected the data. They drew pictures that showed what happened to each cookie in the cups of milk.

Analysis was the next step. They logged what occurred on a lab activity form. From the analysis, students drew their conclusions and restated their hypothesis into an a results statement.

The results told the story of the day’s scientific work. Nilla Wafer and Oreo cookies were the floaters, the Chips Ahoy sunk right away and Nutter Butter started out floating, but then in some cups started to sink very slowly.

But the best was yet to come.

“The students were then given the opportunity to eat their cookies and drink their milk,” Finney wrote in an email to the Tribune. “We even gave them some extras as those were pretty mushy. We shared as a class what we found out and discussed what they thought made some cookies float while others sunk.”

Finney conducted the lab with all nine of her classes during a very sweet day.

Iverson Huggins. (Courtesy photo)
Serenity Bishop. (Courtesy photo)
Tate Matthews (Courtesy photo)
Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at