Imagine the Universe!

What is Your Cosmic Connection to the Elements ?

Grading Guide for
Grandma's Apple Pie

Encourage students to look for a familiy recipe for apple pie. Elemental composition of the ingredients can be found on the web or in reference books.

An apple pie is made primarily frm apples, flour, and sugar. Because thess are all organic, the primary elements are hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are made in small and large stars, while hydrogen is made in the big bang. Students may trace carbon, nitrogen and oxygen back to helium, and then back to hydrogen, via the fusion processes in the stellar life cycle.

Another ingredient often used is salt. This introduces sodium and chlorine. These elements are made in the red giant stage of a large star's life. Students may trace these (via fusio) to the helium produced during the first stage of a star's life, and ultimately back to hydrogen.

Students may also find varying amounts of other elements. For example, milk is often brushed on the crust. Hence, there is a trace amount of calcium, which is produced in large stars. In the apples themselves, students may also find calcium, phosphorous (both of which are produced in large stars), and iron (produced in large stars and supernovae). We suggest the following grading breakdown for the Grandma's Applie Pie presentations:
  • 40% Accuracy of scientific content
  • 20% Quality of presentation
  • 20% Creativity of the artistic element
  • 20% Successfully addressing all aspects of the problem

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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