Soap-Making – SCOPES Digital Fabrication

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Author

Jessica Nielsen
Jessica Nielsen
Informal educator
Jessica is a native Texan with a passion for inspiring future STEM and STEAM leaders. Her education foundation is in fine art and she is an enthusiastic artist and maker. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2015 and… Read More

Summary

Soap Making encourages educators to explore thermodynamics. Using a DIY vacuum mold machine, students will create a mold before adding scent and color to their soap to cast a mold. Laser-cut acrylic will be used to show how prints can make custom shapes on the vacuum form machine.

 

What You'll Need

Acrylic sheets

Soap (large blocks of unscented soap is recommended)

Crock pot (recommended for melting soap)

Ladle (scooping soap)

Vacuum former (link for rigging a vacuum form)

Plastic plates (non-toxic/heat-safe),

Paper cups

Assorted soap scents

Assorted soap color

Laser-cutter

2D Design program

Class set of computers and charging capability

Stir sticks

Scissors

Double-sided tape

Long Tables

“Making a Blank for Molding” Instructions

Vacuum Former

The Instructions

Laser-Cutting Blanks

Laser-cut 1/4" acrylic for blank prints to use as a form for making a soap mold. Follow directions on the attached "Making a Blank for Molding" document.

1. Demonstrate how soap-making works by turning on the vacuum former, letting the heater warm up, displaying the parts and how to work them and explaining how the laser-cutter works.

2. Engage with students, explaining the idea behind making soap using laser-cut acrylic and a vacuum former. 

3. Explain any safety precautions including exercising caution around the vacuum former heater and working with gloves and safety glasses, if applicable. 

Vacuum Forming

Use a vacuum former to create a soap mold.

Once 2-3 copies of blanks are printed, stack them and use double-sided tape to stick them together. Adhere the blanks to the vacuum former using double sided tape to hold it in place. Turn on the heater. Place plastic plate into plate jig and hold up to the heater to melt, (~1 minute). Once melted, work quickly to cover acrylic blank with melted plate, pressing down to ensure full contact and press foot pedal on vacuum to pull air out and create a vacuum seal around acrylic blank. 

Pouring Soap

Pour soap into vacuum-formed molds.

Have students spray their form with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle before pouring their soap and directly after to eliminate air bubbles. Make sure soap has fully melted in crock pot and ladle soap into paper cups, one scoop at a time as needed. Have students pick their scent and color. Once mixed, pour soap into mold. Let sit for 20 minutes to harden. Once hardened, use scissors to cut excess off of plate and cut diagonal slits in plate towards edges of soap for easy removal. 

Standards

  • (Fab-Safety.2): I can operate equipment in a Fab Lab following safety protocols.
  • (Fab-Modeling.1): I can arrange and manipulate simple geometric elements, 2D shapes, and 3D solids using a variety of technologies.
  • (Fab-Fabrication.1): I can follow instructor guided steps that link a software to a machine to produce a simple physical artifact.
  • (Fab-Design.1): I can be responsible for various activities throughout a design process within a group under instructor guidance.
  • (HS-LS2-3): Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobicand anaerobic conditions.
  • (HS-LS2-3): Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobicand anaerobic conditions.
  • (HS-LS2-4): Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
  • (HS-PS3-1): Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
  • (HS-PS3-2): Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).
  • (HS-PS3-3): Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
  • (HS-PS3-3): Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
  • (HS-PS3-1): Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
  • (HS-PS3-4): Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperature are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).
  • (MS-PS3-4): Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
  • (MS-PS3-5): Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
  • (MS-PS3-1): Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
  • (MS-PS3-5): Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
  • (MS-PS3-4): Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
  • (MS-PS3-5): Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
  • (4-PS3-4): Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
  • (HS-PS1-1): Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  • (HS-PS1-2): Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
  • (HS-PS1-3): Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
  • (HS-PS1-4): Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
  • (HS-PS1-5): Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
  • (HS-PS1-6): Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium. include calculating equilibrium constants and concentrations.]
  • (HS-PS1-7): Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
  • (HS-PS1-8): Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decaysment does not include quantitative calculation of energy released. Assessment is limited to alpha, beta, and gamma radioactive decays.].
  • (HS-PS1-1): Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  • (HS-PS1-2): Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
  • (HS-PS1-3): Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
  • (HS-PS1-4): Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
  • (HS-PS1-5): Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
  • (HS-PS1-6): Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium. include calculating equilibrium constants and concentrations.]
  • (HS-PS1-7): Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
  • (HS-PS1-8): Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decaysment does not include quantitative calculation of energy released. Assessment is limited to alpha, beta, and gamma radioactive decays.].
  • (HS-PS1-1): Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  • (HS-PS1-2): Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
  • (HS-PS1-3): Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
  • (HS-PS1-4): Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
  • (HS-PS1-5): Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
  • (HS-PS1-6): Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium. include calculating equilibrium constants and concentrations.]
  • (HS-PS1-7): Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
  • (HS-PS1-8): Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decaysment does not include quantitative calculation of energy released. Assessment is limited to alpha, beta, and gamma radioactive decays.].
  • (HS-PS1-1): Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
  • (HS-PS1-2): Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
  • (HS-PS1-3): Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
  • (HS-PS1-4): Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
  • (HS-PS1-5): Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
  • (HS-PS1-6): Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium. include calculating equilibrium constants and concentrations.]
  • (HS-PS1-7): Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
  • (HS-PS1-8): Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decaysment does not include quantitative calculation of energy released. Assessment is limited to alpha, beta, and gamma radioactive decays.].
  • (MS-PS1-1): Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • (MS-PS1-2): Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • (MS-PS1-3): Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
  • (MS-PS1-4): Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
  • (MS-PS1-5): Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
  • (MS-PS1-6): Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
  • (MS-PS1-1): Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • (MS-PS1-2): Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • (MS-PS1-3): Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
  • (MS-PS1-4): Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
  • (MS-PS1-5): Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
  • (MS-PS1-6): Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
  • (MS-PS1-1): Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
  • (MS-PS1-2): Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
  • (MS-PS1-3): Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
  • (MS-PS1-4): Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
  • (MS-PS1-5): Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
  • (MS-PS1-6): Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
  • (5-PS1-1): Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
  • (5-PS1-2): Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.
  • (5-PS1-3): Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
  • (5-PS1-4): Conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.
  • (2-PS1-4): Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
  • (2-PS1-1): Plan and conduct an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties
  • (2-PS1-2): Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.*
  • (2-PS1-3): Make observations to construct an evidence-based account of how an object made of a small set of pieces can be disassembled and made into a new object.

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  1. SCOPES-DF March 8, 2019
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