Friday, September 18, 2020

Drop a Warhead in baking soda water, and bubbles erupt. Leave a Skittle in water, and the S floats to the surface. Melt a Starburst, and shiny oil spots form. You're doing candy experiments--science experiments with candy.

Melt Halloween candy. Dissolve Valentine hearts. Float Easter Peeps. Or let your kids create their own candy science experiments.

Candy experiments. All candy. All science. All fun.

As seen in Family Fun, Parents, Mothering Magazine, Highlights, the Chicago Tribune, ParentMap, Miami Family, and The Red Tricycle

Monday, March 13, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Chromatography

Why is the color green such a fun candy color? Because you can separate it with chromatography.

Here’s how to see the dyes that make up the green color on an M&M or jelly bean.
  1. Cut a rectangular strip of coffee filter paper.
    Dab a drop of water onto a plate, then put the candy on the water. This will dissolve a little bit of the color.
    Dab the color to make a spot of color near the bottom of the strip.
  2. Place the strip in a small glass with about a 1/2 inch of water. The bottom of the paper should be in the water, with the spot above the water.
  3. After a few minutes, look for new colors. Can you see any yellow near the bottom? Or blue on top?

And if you have leprechauns and rainbows on the brain, try the experiment with a brown or black piece of candy. You’ll see an array of colors.

Now, that’s a St. Patrick’s day rainbow!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Egg Drop

An object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest.

Such as an egg resting on a cardboard tube, even when the tube is batted away. Until it drops.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pierced Hearts and Valentine Links

This heart looks like a normal conversation heart, but it’s really just a collection of bubbles. (After several hours in water, the sugar has dissolved away, leaving only colored gelatin and air bubbles). Piercing it with a pin is easier than poking a marshmallow.

For more fun Valentine's Day candy experiments, try these:

Peel the words off of Jelly Belly beans
Sinking Hearts with Cakemate candies
Hearts bobbing in soda and Hearts bobbing video
Hearts expanding after a soda bath
Hearts fading in sunlight

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Resolution: get more done...with chocolate?

A New Year's Good Housekeeping Magazine tip:

“Feed your brain more chocolate. Break into a bar of chocolate, then take over the world. A nip of it boosts your short-term productivity by 12%, according to a study in the Journal of Labor Economics. 'Chocolate makes people happier, and happy people may be less distracted by worry, so they get more done,' theorizes lead researcher Andrew Oswald, Ph.D, professor of economics and behavioral science at the university of Warwick in England."

Of course, chocolate probably isn't the only thing that makes you happier and more productive. But I'm always inclined to believe the science that shows off the benefits of chocolate!

Good Housekeeping, Jan 2017, Pg 94

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sparkling Sugar Crystal Ornaments

With two weeks to go before Christmas, you've got just enough time to make your own sugar crystal ornaments. Here's how!
  1. Make a few ornament shapes out of fuzzy pipe cleaners.
  2. Make sugar crystal solution by adding 4 cups sugar to 2 cups water, and boiling until the solution is clear.
  3. Pour the solution into a quart jar or small glass jars.
  4. Lay a pencil over the jar(s). Use string or twist ties to hang the ornaments from the pencil. The ornaments should not be touching each other, or the sides of the jar.
  5. Wait two weeks, or until crystals form.
  6. Remove the ornaments, dip in water to rinse, hang dry, and admire!
For more instructions and explanations, see my article, "Grow Sugar-crystal Ornaments," in the December 2016 issue of Highlights.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Candy Cane Silhouettes

Candy experiments with cousins led to a new discovery: although candy canes don't float, some emit bubbles that do.

 See the red candy cane shapes with bubble outlines? The candy canes are still at the bottom of the dish, but the bubbles have floated to the surface, still in candy cane outline.