Gelatin is used to make
photographic film, heart
valves, and of course
But did you know you
can make a unique mobile with it?Safety Warning:
Adult supervision is required.
What You Will Need:
What You Do:
- 3 envelopes of Plain Gelatin (Knox Unflavored Gelatin works well)
- 5 tablespoons of Water
- Food Coloring
- Plastic Lid with a Rim (margarine tub lids work well)
- Paper Towels
- Cookie Cutters
- Drinking Straw
- Cooling Rack
- Mix 5 tablespoons (75 ml) of water and 3 to 5 drops of food coloring in a saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on the stove over a low heat. Please ask an adult to help with this!
- Slowly pour 3 envelopes of unflavored gelatin into the water and stir until it dissolves.
- Heat and stir for 30 seconds or until the mixture is thick.
- Pour the mixture into the plastic lid.
- Carefully push the air bubbles out with a spoon.
- Let the gelatin cool for 45 minutes.
- Carefully lift the gelatin from the lid. You have made an elastic gel!
- Use cookie cutters to make different shapes. Use scissors to make spirals, if desired.
- Use a plastic drinking straw to make a hole in the gel so you can hang them.
- Dry your shapes on a cooling rack, or hang them on a string to dry. In 2 or 3 days, the gelatin will be hard like plastic.
- Hang your completed gel shape in front of a window for a dazzling effect!
- Create a mobile using your gel shapes by tying the shapes to a wire coat hanger.
Gelatin is a protein called collagen
. Collagen molecules line up to make fibers, and these fibers do not dissolve in water. Instead, the fibers form a network that holds cells in place. When collagen is heated, it breaks down to make a simpler protein called gelatin. Gelatin does dissolve in water. When a gelatin solution cools, it makes a semi solid mass or gel. A network of gelatin molecules trap the water in gelatin. It does this in much the same way as collagen molecules trap water.
Where does gelatin come from? Gelatin is extracted by boiling in water (or acid) the bones, tissue, hooves, and ligaments of slaughtered meat-producing animals.