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May 28, 2014

Candy Science Experiments

Sweet Science: Simple Experiments with Candy

Today my class did the Science Candy Experiments from Stay and Play and they LOVED it!  It was pretty easy to set up, and I planned to do 8 of them.  I love how the task cards explained the reasoning behind the experiments - not going to go into all that detail in this post, just know that it's all on the cards.  We don't have access to a microwave, hot plate, or hot water - so I didn't do those ones.  

I'm also in a portable that does not have water access, so I lugged in 3 containers of water to use for all the experiments.  I only used 2 for the in class experiments, but needed the 3rd to hose down the cement after the Mentos explosion.  I also pulled out plastic cups, bowls, spoons, and paper plates, and we reused them when possible.  Sorry I didn't take pictures - it was kind of nuts setting them up and then monitoring.... not nuts in a bad way - just so engaging!  

Here's what we accomplished and my shopping list:

#1 - Pop Rocks
Pop Rocks Candy
My own boys still had lollipop pop rocks that the Easter Bunny brought (but they hadn't eaten and had no interest in eating) so I used those for the experiment.  The kids worked in groups to hover over a plastic cup full of water.  The kids took turned dipping the lollipop, watching the bubbles, and hearing the crackling noise.  They also thought it was cool how the water turned the different shades of pop rocks, and the entire room smelled like candy.     

#2 - Wintergreen Lifesavers
LifeSavers Mints, Wint O Green - 50 oz bag
My room doesn't get super dark (even with the lights off, blinds closed, etc) so the kids sat under their desks and watched each other's mouths as they chewed the lifesavers with their mouths open.  Each kid participated... one package was enough for my entire class  It was gross to watch, but the room smelled minty.  Not everyone saw the sparkles, but most kids did.  It might have been something with how big their partner opened their mouth.  

#3 - Skittles
Skittles Original Bite Size Candies, with Green Apple - 14 oz bag
Each group received a paper plate with the 5 colors of Skittles.  They placed them on the plate, making sure they weren't close together.  Then they took a clean cup of water with a spoon to add little drops of water on top of the candy.  The outside candy shell dissolved into the drops of water, turning them into different color dyes.  I took out some coffee filters from my cupboard, and they added the dyes to the different sections of the filter, then stuck the corner of the filter into the cup of water to make the colors blend together.  It was tie dye!  

#4 - Starbursts
For this experiment each kid received a square of Starburst, which they unwrapped and stuck into a bowl of water (each group shared the same bowl of water).  Over recess the candy sat in the water, and then afterward they came back to take it out to mold it into different shapes.  Most had to add pressure and heat to form the different shapes, but they were all able to stretch it.

#5 - Pixie Sticks
With Pixie Sticks the kids worked in teams (using the same plastic cups and spoons from the Skittles experiment), and dumped the Pixie Stik in the water.  They swirled it around to make it dissolve, then I added a spoonful of baking soda.  They were pretty amazed about the bubbles it produced.  We had a good talk about acidity and the reaction of any acid with baking soda.  

#6 - Chocolate Mini Bars
My teammates thought I was a little crazy wasting candy bars on this experiment, but it really was only 4 mini bars.  I filled 4 cups with the same amount of water and the kids predicted if the candy would sink or float.  I unwrapped each of the candy pieces and gave them a little squeeze before dropping them into the water (cracking the chocolate shell).
What happened?
Twix - sunk
3 Musketeers - float
Milk Way - sunk
Snickers - sunk
Then we had a little talk about why they thought only one floated and the kids came up with the marshmallow and all the air pockets inside the 3Musketeers must be the reason.  My little scientists...

#7 - M&Ms
The M&Ms was my favorite experiment of the day.  The kids worked in partners, each team with a cup of water.  They got situated around the room and put their cups in a safe place.  Then I went around and dropped in a single M&M.  The lettering was face up so they could watch.  Within a couple of minutes all the candy shell had dissolved, and the letter "M" had floated to the top.  The kids were SOO excited to see the floating "M".

#8 - Mentos and Diet Coke
Mentos Candy Rolls - Mint: 15-Piece Box
After lunch we had our final experiment.  My husband came to visit and he so nicely dropped the Mentos into the Diet Coke (and then ran backwards).  I love him!  The kids oohed and ahhed, and then wanted to do it again (but I had only brought enough for one explosion).  I did check the direction the wind was blowing, and the kids sat pretty far back so they wouldn't get wet.  Then we took that extra jug of water and hosed the area so it wouldn't be sticky later on.  

All in all it was a great day! 

Here's what I got on my shopping trip for my 31 kids-
Mentos - 1 package (only used 4 of them)
Diet Coke - 1 Two Liter bottle
Skittles - 2 packages - only needed 1 1/2 of it
M&Ms - 1 package - only used half of it
Lifesavers - 1 bag - still had leftovers, each kid had 1
Starbursts - 3 packages, had a couple left over, each kid had one
Pixie Sticks - grabbed 5 (one per table) out of my own kids' Easter candy stash
Pop Rocks - used 3 packages (3 lollipops each package) - used per team
Chocolate Mini Bars - only needed 4 little mini bars, different kinds
**Also brought in baking soda and pulled out coffee filters.

  1 and a half day left until Summer Break!    


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