Candy Experiments (with pictures)

Have you heard of Candy Experiments?  It’s a particularly useful website right after major holidays in which tons of candy are handed out (ie, Halloween).  You take all your candy and you do experiments on it.  We’ve done it before, but this year was a bit different.

First off, I made them write.  They wrote what the experiment was, what they anticipated would happen, what did happen, and why they thought that was.  In other words, Boo and I tried to emphasize the scientific process to Little Bit.  Now, they didn’t necessarily like writing it all down, but they did it.

So, I’m going to try to post pictures and explain what is happening in each one.  This post may be picture heavy.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

This is the M&M/Skittles test.  We put a small package of Skittles in water and watched.  Boo used water from the tap.

 Little Bit used water from the fridge.  And yes, it made a difference.  The “S”s floated up really quickly on Boo’s test.  They took over an hour on Little Bit’s test.

 This is the sink or float test.  We were using a mini 3 musketeers.

 I’m not sure what result we were supposed to see.  But we did it.

 This was test to see the oil in the candies.  We tested 4 different kinds.  This is Little Bit’s plate.  She did a little bit shorter time than Boo.

 But Boo was intrigued and decided to do her own test.  She did each one on a separate plate and for a really long time.

 I don’t remember what Boo was expecting to happen, but she was satisfied with the results of her test.  Interestingly, if you melt the candy long enough, it bubbles sort of like pancakes, but after it cools down, it’s actually hard.

This was where we realized the “M”s were coming up on Little Bit’s first test.

 This was an acid test.  We crushed up nerds and lemon heads and sweet tarts, and then mixed them into water.  Then they took a spoonful of baking soda and added it to the water.  We had some interesting results.  The nerds fizzed and died pretty quickly.  The sweet tarts fizzed a little, but then they foamed.  Very interesting to watch.

 This is a continuation of test #1.  We used hot water versus cold water.  The biggest observation was how the colors did not bleed off or mix as well in the cold water cup.

 Next we did a “hidden sugar” test.  We took our favorite foods and measure out how many grams of sugar each had, by using M&Ms and Skittles and other smallish type candy.  Little Bit measure Fast Mac.

 Boo measured a serving of Nutella.  Since she’s a fairly healthy eater anyway, I didn’t rub in how much sugar it had.  I like letting them make natural observations.

 Then we decided to do the chromatography experiment.  This one was a bit more complex.  But we figured it out and tested just about everything left in our candy buckets.  I can tell you that brown M&Ms and purple and red Skittles give the best results, while green ones aren’t too bad either. However…. Smarties don’t work for this test.

 We took this picture after about an hour.  I should have taken a picture the next day, because it was really rather spectacular.  But maybe that just gives you an incentive to do it yourself.  😉

 Up until this point, I had been guiding the testing.  Then I let them loose.  I let them design their own experiments.  I was nearby to offer assistance as needed.

They did candy experiments for over 3 hours.

It’s really fun watching my children grow and process and learn. Candy experiments is just one of the ways we accomplish that.

Plus, the more candy we use for experiments, the less I eat.  😉

Until next time,