Food Science event

Skyridge Middle School eighth-grader Brody Baemen, left, ignites a marshmallow while teammate Lucas Mansfield is ready for the next step in the activity Saturday during the Food Science event at the Southwest Washington Science Olympiad at Clark College. (Joseph Glode for The Columbian)

Posted: March 6, 2017

It’s a pretty simple recipe: Take one marshmallow, add flame.

While Saturday’s charred result is unlikely to be part of anybody’s diet plan, the process actually was an exercise in calorie counting.

On Saturday, that meant building a calorimeter to gauge the heat released by a burning marshmallow.

“The students are looking at the chemistry of food,” said Amanda Crochet, chair of the Clark College chemistry department. She was monitoring the Food Science event in a college laboratory. In the just-add-fire phase of the event, “Students measure heat output in a marshmallow,” Crochet said.

It was one of 48 events comprising the 2017 regional Science Olympiad at Clark College. Eleven teams earned spots in next month’s state competition — including five teams from the Camas school district. The high school’s top two teams finished one-two in regionals; Camas middle-school teams went one-two-three. Between its high school and two middle schools, Camas had almost 130 regional participants.

The state event has been part of Camas High School’s annual schedule for years. Camas won five straight state championships before finishing second last year, coach Matt Chase said. Overall, Saturday’s event drew more than 400 students from Southwest Washington, plus teams from the Quileute Tribal School in La Push and from Corvallis, Ore.

Read the full story at The Columbian.