Ripening of Fruits and Vegetables

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In this activity, learners test the rate of ripening fruit and vegetables and use a chemical to inhibit the ripening process. After the experiment, learners measure the exposed surface area of the foods. This activity relates to how food is prepared for the Space Shuttle. This lesson plan includes background information, discussion questions, and extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Distilled water
  • Fruits such as apples and bananas
  • Vegetables such as carrots and celery sticks
  • Vitamin C tablets
  • Small deep plastic bowls
  • Knives
  • Large spoons
  • Paper plates


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • Public domain, ,