SprÓg : Sitting Room Science with Calmast




Calmast STEM Engagement Centre brings science straight to your home.

The Calmast team explores cool and creative ways to bring science straight to your sitting room!

Through fun, interactive and engaging experiments, it is the perfect way to introduce children to simple scientific thinking developing their creativity, problem-solving and confidence with science, experimentation and thinking outside the box.


Event Name: Sitting Room Science with Calmast

Facilitator: Calmast


Venue: Online

Capacity: Online


In winter we spread salt on the roads and paths to melt ice and snow. 

But for the ice to melt it, needs to take heat energy from its surroundings. 

In our system the ice melts and takes this heat from the milk mixture, cooling it down and making it freeze into delicious ice cream. 

The action of shaking helps this transformation process, and it ensures a smooth ice-cream texture by breaking up ice crystals in the ice-cream. In 1665 Robert Boyle, who was born in Lismore, Co. Waterford, published a book describing his experiments with temperature and cold. 

In it, he describes many experiments where he added salt to ice and snow to make the temperature fall even lower. That is the process you are using with your salt and ice. 

Even though Robert Boyle was a great scientist, he never thought to make ice-cream during his experiments! 




Slime is neither a solid nor a liquid. Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid, meaning it does not follow Newton’s law of viscosity. Newtonian fluids, like water, can only change from a liquid to a solid by changing its temperature. 

Viscosity is a measurement of how fast or slow fluid flows. Non-Newtonian fluids become more liquid or more solid when a force is applied to them e.g friction. Ever notice how ketchup flows better after you shake the bottle? Ketchup is a non-Newtonian fluid and becomes runnier when shaken. Slime, however, becomes more solid when you squeeze or stir it. The less runny your slime is, the more viscosity it has. 

Other examples of these non-Newtonian fluids include honey, custard and toothpaste! 

The melting point of a substance is the temperature at which a substance change from a solid to a liquid. The melting point of marshmallows is 37°C. 



To make our fudge we are changing the ingredients, as in the ice-cream above, from one form to another. 

Here we are using heat from our hands and armpit, to change the form of the materials as well as the friction from squishing and pushing ingredients in the bag. 

Friction is the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another. 

Friction can generate heat too. Try it for yourself by rubbing your hands together- can you feel them getting warm? 




About Calmast:

Calmast is the Science Foundation Ireland, STEM Engagement Centre for the South-East of Ireland, based in Waterford Institute of Technology. Founded in 2002 our core value is“Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths for all’ working in the spirit of partnership and connection with everything we do.