News: Learning about engineering can be a sweet experience
IWAKUNI, Japan - Students at Matthew C. Perry High School in Iwakuni, Japan, explored the question, “how strong is a chocolate bar?”
Did you know a chocolate bar can teach us about engineering? Students at Matthew C. Perry High School in Iwakuni, Japan, found out Feb. 5 when they explored the question, “how strong is a chocolate bar?”
“The students started by choosing one of four chocolate bars, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar or a KitKat bar,” said David Daggett, a construction representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Iwakuni Resident office, Japan District.
Before testing the strength of their chosen sweet, students and their mentors were asked to predict which bar would be strongest.
“My group picked the Mr. Goodbar,” Daggett said. “After the testing was complete we found that the KitKat bar was by far the strongest – it was about half again as strong as the next strongest chocolate.”
Conversations then continued about why the KitKat kicked its chocolate competitors to the curb.
“A wafer will always be stronger than the large aggregate in the Mr. Goodbar,” Daggett said.
If one looks at the nuts in a chocolate bar like the aggregate found in concrete, for example, the size of the aggregate changes the concrete’s physical properties. “If we’d had a Nestle Crunch Bar, I think that would have been equally has strong as the KitKat,” Daggett said. “More and smaller aggregate makes a better product in most cases.”
Engineering can be found all around us – including in a chocolate bar. After finishing up their scientific experiment the students talked about their findings … as they ate the test materials.