Chemistry in a Cone: The Science of Ice Cream

Join us for the inside scoop on the surprisingly complex process of making ice cream.

8 a.m.

The Dome
18 and up
45 minutes
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Have you ever wondered how your favorite scoop of ice cream is so creamy or how the flavors are so rich and decadent? When you’re pondering questions about the frozen sweet treat, did you consider science and chemistry? If not, then you should! Ice cream is the result of a complex chemical reaction. When just the right amounts of milk, sugar, flavorings and cold temperatures are churned together in the correct order and for the appropriate amount of time, it creates a beloved bowl of delicious ice cream.

Join us April 23 at Sunrise Science for the inside scoop on the complex chemistry of ice cream. Gelati Celesti Ice Cream President Steve Rosser will share the details about how air factors into the churning process, the specialized equipment used, the methods of creating exotic and complex flavor profiles and even which flower you're eating when you enjoy a classic flavor. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2024, Gelati Celesti is known for their collaborations that highlight local connections, such as with Ukrop’s, Blanchard’s Coffee and the Richmond Flying Squirrels. In 2023, the Virginia-based company made nearly 150 different flavors, producing more than 10,300 gallons of its top flavor alone. Rosser is an accomplished businessman, successful entrepreneur and self-proclaimed maker of moments of pure joy.

Sunrise Science

  • What: “Chemistry in a Cone: The Science of Ice Cream” presented by Steve Rosser, Gelati Celesti Ice Cream President
  • When: Tuesday, April 23, 8 a.m.
  • Where: Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220

I Want to Go!
Exterior image of Science Museum of Virginia during the day.

About the Sunrise Science Speaker Series

Have you ever stopped to think about how much of your life is fueled by science? From the food we eat and the movies we watch, to the technology that keeps us safe and the policy decisions that govern our country, it’s hard to find something that isn’t rooted in science.

The Sunrise Science speaker series showcases people with really big (and cool) jobs. They will pour out a little of their expertise, experience and insight into the ways our world is shaped by science.

Sunrise Science events begin at 8 a.m. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. so you can grab a complimentary cup of coffee to enjoy during the talk. Each presentation includes time for audience questions at the end. The event will conclude by 9 a.m. so you can continue on with your day, but with a little extra science to fill your cup of knowledge! Sunrise Science events are free, but registration is required.

Please note: Science Museum exhibitions are not open during Sunrise Science events.

Mark Your Calendars for Upcoming Sunrise Science Events

June 6, 2024

  • Dr. Robert Winn, Director and Lipman Chair in Oncology, VCU Massey Cancer Center and Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Innovation and Professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, VCU School of Medicine