Search form

About The Blogger

Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
Back to Blog

Using the News in the Classroom: 3D Printer Can Make Ice Cream! Bell Ringer

Need a few minutes to collect homework, do attendance, etc.? Bell ringers are always a great use of time, especially when they involve topics in the news. Students at MIT have created a 3D printer that produces ice cream. Great opportunity to share facts about ice cream and if time, do some of the extension activities. Hope you find the information of value. It is also posted at my website for teachers:

If you like ice cream, imagine if you could just "print" some up for yourself! Students at MIT have taken the idea of a 3D printer and made a device that makes soft serve ICE CREAM! And, the ice cream that comes out of the printer can be made into edible treats with specific shapes. While the process is just in the experimental stage at this point, it is hoped that one day soon, we'll be able to go to an ice cream store and have our dessert created right there while we wait, in any shape we'd like to have!

Photograph from

Learn lots of COOL facts about ice cream:

• One scoop of ice cream needs about 50 licks to finish.

• The Chinese were making a type of ice cream with milk, rice and snow in about 2000 BC.

• The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year.

• To make one gallon of ice cream, you need 12 pounds of milk. A dairy cow can produce enough milk for about 9,000 gallons of ice cream in its lifetime.

• The USA is the world's leading producer of ice cream.

• Alexander the Great liked nectar and honey-flavored snow.

• National Ice Cream Month is in July.

• Yes...vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor (followed by chocolate and strawberry).

• An ice cream tester for Dreyer's Ice Cream actually insured his tongue for 1 million dollars!

• Dolly Madison served strawberry ice cream at the second inaugural ball of her husband, President James Madison, in 1812.

• Sunday is the day of the week when the most ice cream is sold in the United States.

• Did you know that one of the main ingredients in ice cream is...AIR (makes it lighter and gives it a smoothness)?

• There was a floating ice cream parlor built by the U.S.Navy in 1945 for its sailors fighting in the Pacific.

• More ice cream is sold in the WINTER months in Canada than in the summer months.

• Strange ice cream flavors? Jalapeno, dill pickle, garlic, bacon, blue cheese and shallots, squid ink and curry carrot might be flavors to include in this list.

• The world's largest ice cream cone weighted 2,204 pounds. It was 13 feet tall. It was made in Gloucester, UK, in 2012.

• The world's largest ice cream sundae was created in Kingston, NY, in 2014. It was 1,606 ft. tall.

• Ever get a brain freeze from eating ice cream? The top of the mouth has lots of nerves. When cold ice cream comes into contact with these nerves, it causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate, giving the short headache also known as an ice cream headache.

• Thomas Jefferson loved ice cream. See his recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream at this link:

Extension Activities:

* Write a haiku poem on ice cream.

* If you had to describe ice cream to an alien from outer space, what would be 3 descriptives you'd use to explain the treat? Write a paragraph about your encounter sharing ice cream with an alien.

* Draw/color a picture of an ice cream sundae. Exchange your drawing with 3 others and have them write descriptive words to describe what they see. When your drawing is returned, write a paragraph using the comments about your ice cream sundae.

* There is a saying "A picture is worth a 1,000 words." Illustrate/color one of the facts about ice cream which conveys the fact.

Additional Links:

NOTE: Illustration from

Please check out my resources at Edworld Exchange: