Supercool Ice Cream

It is scientifically proven that this ice cream will be supercool.  Adding salt to water lowers the freezing point of the water and this change in freezing point is known as supercooling. As the temperature of the liquid goes down, the molecules have less and less energy, slow down, and eventually turn into a solid.

Make Ice Cream

Miss Kate made a refreshing summer snack and you can too!


  • Quart sealable bag 
  • Gallon sealable bag
  • Heavy cream (½ cup)
  • Sugar (1 Tablespoon)
  • Vanilla Extract (½ teaspoon)
  • Salt
  • Ice
  • Measuring cups 
  • Spoon
  • Thermometer (optional)
  • Ice Cream Add Ins (optional): fruit, cookie pieces, chocolate chips


  1. Mix the cream, vanilla and sugar together in one of the quart size bags.
  2. Seal tightly, allowing as little air to remain in the bag as possible. Too much air left inside may force the bag open during shaking. Put the bag aside.
  3. Fill the gallon size bag with the ice, and take the temperature of the ice.
  4. Sprinkle about a 1/2 cup of salt on the ice.
  5. Take the temperature of the ice with salt.  Do NOT put the thermometer in the small bag with your ice cream.
  6. Put the smaller bag with the cream, vanilla, and sugar into the salty ice and seal the large bag.
  7. Shake and massage the bag, making sure the ice surrounds the cream mixture. This may take 5 – 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the small bag with your ice cream and take a taste.

For more information on this topic, check out the following websites:

State of Matter PhET Simulation: Discover how pressure and temperature affect a substance’s state of matter.

Solids, Liquids, and Gases” Article: Learn about the states of matter by reading and watching short clips on water.

Classroom Teachers! Download the student worksheet and instructor guide to complete activity with your students.

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