CAGIS Clubhouse

Ice Cream Challenge

This is our sweetest challenge yet! 

Your challenge: to create a perfect scoop of ice cream featuring a unique flavour!

The specs: use the Ice Cream at Home recipe (below) as your base to create a smooth, delicious, and creative new ice cream flavour. You can experiment with additional ingredients, inclusions, and techniques to make the perfect scoop, just like the one seen in Off Limits: Ice Cream (at 3 min 16 sec).

Want to work together on this STEM Challenge? Join our CAGIS Virtual session, Frozen Delights, on Saturday, September 23 to learn all about ice cream and experiment with flavours, colours, and inclusions with a food engineer! Register now!

Ice Cream at Home Recipe


125 ml milk or non-dairy alternative such as coconut milk (1%-15% fat; for a creamier texture, 10-15% fat is best. Less than 10% fat makes a delicious ice milk.)                   

1 Tbs. sugar                         

½ tsp. vanilla                                  


1 bowl

2 sandwich-sized resealable bags

1 large resealable bag

1 liter ice (crushed is best)

80 ml salt (coarse or kosher is best)

1 spoon

Oven mitts, gloves, mittens or a large cloth to hold the cold bag (it’s surprisingly cold!)


  1. Pour milk, vanilla, and sugar into a resealable sandwich bag.  
  2. Carefully seal the bag so it does not leak. Place it in a second sandwich bag for extra protection and carefully seal it.
  3. Place the ice and salt into the large resealable bag.
  4. Place the small bag with your ice cream mixture into the large bag with your ice and salt mixture. 
  5. Seal the large bag and put on oven mitts or heavy winter gloves. Shake the bag vigorously for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Remove your resealable sandwich bag and open it. You should have ice cream!  


Note for ice cream scientists- and engineers-in-training: Usually colour (like food colouring) would be added at step 1 and inclusions like sprinkles or chocolate chips would be added at step 6. However, you can be creative and experiment with different colours, flavours, and inclusions at different steps of the process to see what happens! 

Submit your work: Complete a two-part form and submit a short video showing a perfect scoop of your homemade ice cream (maximum 1 minute). The video must include a close-up of your ice cream being scooped, a description of your flavour, and a brief explanation of the ingredients and methods you used to create it. Note: the form will ask you an ice cream science question. Watch Off Limits: Ice Cream to find the answer!

Judging: Tammy Barrett, research and development manager at Chapman’s Ice Cream, will be looking for the perfect ice cream scoop that has the creamiest texture and most even consistency with the least amount of ice crystals. She will also be assessing colour, flavour creativity, and technical complexity.   

Deadline: Entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm PT on October 7, 2023.

Eligibility: this STEM challenge is for girls and gender-diverse youth aged 7-17 (as of October 7, 2023), residing in Canada, outside of the province of Quebec. Contest void where prohibited by law. 

Winners: The judge will select two winners: one aged 7-11 and another aged 12-17.

Prizes: Winners will each receive a prize pack valued at $125, generously donated by Chapman’s Ice Cream! Winners will also be featured on the CAGIS website, social media, and other communication channels.

For this Challenge only, the first 20 entrants will receive a participation prize pack valued at $30, generously donated by Chapman’s Ice Cream! 

This project is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

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three ice cream cones

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