Making is great, but making with chocolate is even better! In this lesson, children will learn that with the help of digital tools they can craft what they love: chocolate. First, they will download a 3D model and turn it into a digital mold with Tinkercad. Then, they will 3D print it and use it as a counter-mold to cast food grade silicone. Finally they will pour chocolate in the silicon mold and eat it! In the process they will learn properties of materials, math basis of proportions and measurement units.
Food Grade Silicone (I recommend Smooth-Sil™ 960)
Containers to mix the silicone
Chocolate (better if it´s in small pieces or chips)
Ceramic bowls (heatproof bowls)
Lolypop sticks (optional)
You are also going to need a microwave (or oven) and a fridge (or ice in a cooler)
Tell the kids about the session one day before. They will get real excited to hear the word Chocolate! This activity is divided in 3 sessions, because the 3D print molds take time, as well as the silicone mold that takes 16 hours to cure. I recommend to tell the kids about how the process is long and explain why.
To get started, ask the kids what they like to eat.
One of them should say “Chocolate”! Then, you´ll ask who else like chocolate. Most of them should say “I do”. You can explain that in the next sessions they´ll turn chocolate chips into the shape they prefer by designing and making molds, learning about states of matter and measurement units!
Let´s do it!
The kids will design and 3D print their countermold. First they will download something from thingiverse, then they will make it into a mold with Tinkercad and finally they will 3D print it.
1. Explain very briefly the entire process of molding and casting.
2. Ask them to go to thingiverse.com and find something they want to 3D print for their countermold. While they are choosing, guide them to find something easy to print, explaining how the mold should look like. I suggest to have a physical example.
3. Once they´ve downloaded their 3D model, ask them to go to Tinkercad to start making the walls and floor of the countermold. (if they´ve never used Tinkercad, I recommend to have a previous session to get used to it).
– Open your 3D model
– Rotate it to make it flat
– Draw a cube around it, that covers everypart.
– Draw a smaller cube inside the first one, in order to remove that volume and leave the walls and floor.
– Export your file, ready of 3D printing.
4. 3D print the countermolds. I recommend you send at least one in each printer you have, with the kids, and leave the rest printing all night, to be ready for the next day session.
5 Explain the kids the following steps.
Once they have their counter molds ready, they kids are going to cast the silicone. For this they will learn about states of matter and how to measure.
All your students should have their countermolds ready! Get prepared to cast the silicone.
In this session, the kids are going to release their silicone molds and cast chocolate on them. They will reinforce the concept of states of matter.
To start, make a little re-count of what they have done so far, as well as the concepts learned (units and state of matter)