Kitchen chemistry: The science of ice cream


Heston Blumenthal discusses the science of ice cream in this selection of videos.

Type of Activity

group work



Age Group

Primary to 18 years

A video looking at the fastest way to produce ice cream


The Royal Society of Chemistry would like to thank the Discovery Channel for providing the video clips for this resource, and Twofour Productions for producing the clips.

If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Using a range of scientific equipment to take accurate and precise measurements or readings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group materials together, according to whether they are solids, liquids, or gases.
  • Observe that some materials change state when they are heated or cooled, and measure or research the temperature at which this happens in degrees Celsius.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That materials can change state from liquid to solid, using the example of making ice cream.
  • That some stages of the making of ice cream are reversible and some are not.

Suggested activity use

This resource provides a hook into researching how ice cream is made, with children having the opportunity to make their own following a simple recipe involving milk, sugar and ice. Children can observe the chemical process that happens as the ingredients become solid ice cream.

Practical considerations

You will need to find a simple recipe for making ice cream that the children can follow, and provide the necessary ingredients and equipment.

Please take into account any health and safety considerations, especially as the temperature of the ice and salt mixture can become very cold. Children will need supervising.