France is one of the biggest countries in Europe and is famous for the Tour de France, it’s sense of style, the Eiffel Tower and of course cheese!

These STEM Challenges are part of my Around the World in 50 Experiments series. How far around the world have you travelled so far?

I have two fun challenges for France. First, find out how much smell affects taste, you could use a lovely pungent cheese, or different flavoured jelly beans if you’re not a cheese fan!

The second challenge is to build a model of the Eiffel Tower. Did you know if has 1665 steps?

France – STEM Challenge 1

The World’s Smelliest Cheese – Hold Your Nose!

Eposses de Bourgogne is so smelly it’s banned on public transport in France!! How different do you think it would taste if you couldn’t smell it?

Smelly STEM Challenge

Did you know there’s a lot more to what we taste than just what goes on in our mouth. How the food smells and how it looks are important too!

In this challenge you’re going to find out how much smell influences what you taste by holding your nose while you eat!

You’ll need

Strong tasting foods such as an orange or different flavoured jelly beans work well too! You could even use different types of cheese!

Blindfold

Helper

Smelly STEM instructions

Hold your nose and try one of the foods, how does it taste?

Ask a friend to blindfold you.

Cover your nose and ask your helper friend to give you a jelly bean.

Can you tell what flavour it is?

Try a few different beans with your nose covered and without your nose covered. Is there a difference?

How does smell affect taste?
Image taken from Gross Science

Why does holding your nose stop you tasting a food?

Your tongue is covered in taste buds which can detect salty, sweet, sour and bitter foods. However, your sense of taste isn’t just down to your tastebuds.

When you eat, chemicals are released from the food that travel up your nose. It’s these chemicals and taste buds that tell your brain about the taste.

Challenge 2

Eiffel Tower STEM Challenge

This challenge is easy, or is it?

This newspaper model of the Eiffel Tower was our third attempt. Paper straws and plastcine didn’t hold up, rolled paper and masking tape wasn’t much better, so finally we settled on rolled up newspaper and tape!

What do you think?

Newspaper model of the Eiffel Tower

Inspiration Laboratories has a brilliant LEGO version of the Eiffel Tower you might like too.

I have some more easy newspaper STEM Challenges if you enjoyed this activity. Can you make a landmark from a different country using newspaper?

Eiffel Tower Facts

Did you know the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest building for 41 years! The Chrysler Building in New York took the crown in 1930!

It took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build.

The tower is repainted every 7 years.

The names of 72 French engineers and scientists are etched into the tower.

The tower grows and shrinks by up to 7 inches in hot and cold weather.

Find out more about the history of the Eiffel Tower.

Challenge 3

Design a jersey for the Tour de France

The tour de France covers over 2000 miles and takes 23 days.

The race is split into different stages with lead rider at each stage getting to wear a special yellow jersey! The best sprinter wears a green jersey and the best climber a polka dot jersey!

Your task for this challenge is to design a jersey for a Tour de France rider. Think about the best materials to use. Wool or sweatshirt material would be a bit sweaty, but perhaps cotton or a stretchy, breathable material would be better?

If it’s hot, a black jersery that will absorb heat might be uncomfortable, so think about the best colours to use too!

What features can you add to your jersey? Do you want it simple and streamlined or with a hood and phone pocket?

Draw your own or download the free template!

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Originally posted at Science Sparks