A great article in the last issue of Science in School: "Easily removable chewing gum". Secondly: is there a culinary potential in restaurant/home-made chewing gum?
The article by Halina Stanley in the last issue of the Science in school (free journal) is fun reading, describing why gum sticks and also referring to recent research at Bristol University (UK) on making non-stick chewing gum.
Taking this one step further, it came to me that I've never been served home-made chewing gum at any restaurant. Wouldn't this be an interesting as palate-cleanser, say as an alternative to sorbets, granitas etc.? I googled "make your own chewing gum" and came up with loads of hits. Some of these were ready-made kits (going at $10-20), but even more interesting were some of the more general recipes that allow for leeway in flavour addition. However, I guess a ready-made kit might be a good starting point. It seems that the most commonly available products are based on natural gum (chicle), whereas most commercial brands nowadays use synthetic polymer mixtures to achieve the ideal properties, more on this in the Science in school- article.
I suppose there are numerous possibilities in teaching polymer chemistry using chewing gum, testing various properties etc. A number of relevant links in the article for experiments and activities.
I'd really like some gum base for Christmas present this year :)
PS: Science in school is highly recommended reading in general, not only for teachers. On top of all, it's free :)