The science behind ice cream is focus of Pasto Agricultural Museum open house

April 08, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Ice cream is a staple of summertime, but few think about the process that goes into making the cool treat.

People interested in learning the science behind ice cream should plan to attend the annual open house and ice cream social at Penn State’s Pasto Agricultural Museum, set for 1 to 4 p.m. on April 14.

“The open house coincides with Penn State’s Blue-White game, and we believe it’s a sweet way to end the weekend for kids of all ages,” said Rita Graef, curator of the museum, an outreach of the College of Agricultural Sciences. “It’s always a popular event and great avenue to learn about all our museum has to offer.”

The highlight of the event will be a program titled, “Hey! There's Science in My Ice Cream,” during which the story of ice cream, from cow to cone, will be told by Ernest Hovingh, extension veterinarian and senior research associate in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

Hovingh will be accompanied by veterinary students and “FEona” the cow -- an iron model of a cow that is used in training programs to show how calves are born. The team will discuss other cow-related topics, including cow nutrition for the best milk quality and equipment used for milking. Those attending will be treated to free ice cream, while supplies last.

The open house also marks the culmination of the museum’s two spring programs -- AgSci Action Labs and AgSci Explorers -- that have been held weekly since March. Penn State faculty and graduate students led the sessions, sharing their work and talking about the tools they use in the field and in the lab. Young scientists who took part in the sessions will be sharing their experiences during the open house.

In addition, the Graduate Women in Science group will be hosting an “ask the scientist” lemonade stand.

More information on the museum and its open houses is available at the website. To receive information and event reminders via email, send a message to Graef can be reached at 814-863-1383 or by email at

Located on the Ag Progress Days site at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs -- 15 minutes southwest of State College on Route 45 -- the museum features hundreds of rare farm and home implements from the “muscle-power era,” before the advent of electricity and gasoline-powered engines.



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Last Updated April 08, 2019