Hot Chocolate Testing

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Mathematics, Data Analysis and Probability, Science, Physical Science

Grade 5- 8


Students scientifically compare and contrast various brands of hot chocolate.


Once you have purchased the hot chocolate mixes, remove the labels from each container. Then use permanent marker to indicate on both the container and the removed label whether it is drink A, B, C, or D. If you purchased a drink mix whose label cannot be removed, use your copy machine to make a replica of the label and then cover the container with opaque paper.
Cut from each label the nutritional facts section and mount each of these on a square of tagboard. Make sure the product name does not appear anywhere on these cards. You may want to make three or four copies of each nutritional fact card. Display these cards around the classroom on the day of the experiment. Students will need this information to complete the first part of the lab.
Use approximately 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of powder per Styrofoam cup. The students may do this themselves or you may find it more accurate and time saving to do this yourself ahead of time. Then fill each cup half full of hot water.
One large or two to three small coffee maker(s) filled with warmed water will be enough to handle approximately 20-25 experiments. If you have more than one class, you will need to refill and heat the water at a constant rate.
Warning: The water only needs to be very warm for this experiment. Extremely hot water could be dangerous in the classroom.
Make sure that students know the meaning of the word residue. You may have to define it for them.
Some students may be allergic to chocolate. Be sure to identify these before the taste testing. If a student is not able to participate, assign a partner to him or her who will share his or her findings for the remainder of this activity.
Distribute the three Hot Chocolate Testing lab sheets to students and have them begin the experiment.


  • four different varieties of hot chocolate drinks (30 to 40 oz. of each drink mix should be enough to accommodate 100 students)
  • four Styrofoam cups per student
  • one stir straw per student
  • Hot Chocolate Testing lab sheets (3)

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