A Candy Experimenter's Shopping Bag

1 bag taffy (for freezing experiments)
2 bags Hershey miniatures and 1 bag Nestle Crunch (for floating experiments)
1 orange (because even I will occasionally indulge a child's checkout-counter whims!)

Candy in the Sun

I didn't mean to conduct this experiment, it was just a byproduct of leaving this pink mint on the kitchen counter for a few weeks because I kept meaning to throw it in the oven.  The sunlight faded it so much it's hardly pink anymore.

Pink mint (original color) next to sun-faded mint

Here's a picture of the underside of the mint.  Again, you can see the contrast between the faded edges, which perhaps got some sunlight because the mint isn't actually quite flat, and so a little sun would have shone on the very edges, and also perhaps because the mint was sitting on a reflective pie tin.  Whatever the reason, the difference is significant.

I hope my dermatologist sister is proud of me writing about the strong effects of sunlight!  I wonder if the mint would have been protected against fading by a coating of sunscreen?

Call for Experimenters in Columbus, OH

Has anybody ever done candy experiments in Columbus, OH? If you have, and if you're willing to help out with an article on candy experiments that will appear in Columbus Parent Magazine, contact me.

Density Rainbow Upgrade

Somebody once suggested I try doing the density rainbow with a syringe. Yesterday, in the process of taking pictures for the upcoming book, I finally tried it, and it worked great. (I used one of those blue bulb syringes you get to clean baby's ears--guess I should mark it so I don't use it on ears again!)

I had much more control over the pouring process when I used the syringe. My husband also poured a rainbow, and he poured his colored solution into a liquid measuring cup with a lip, which also made the pouring easier. Both rainbows turned out nicely, with very distinct stripes.

So, if you've been put off by the difficulty of the Density Rainbow, it may be time to give it another try!


Taking all these photos of candy experiments is making me snacky. I've had to slice lots of apples as sweet replacements. My toddler is also getting into the spirit of things. Since I gave her all my Pop Rocks discards (many packages had failed so that the Pop Rocks had all stuck together and lost their fizz), she's been putting them into her own bowl of water. When I caught her licking fragments off her fingers, she gave a guilty start and started plucking them off her tongue to drop in the water. Yet another reason never to eat candy experiments!

Sports Snacks

Just found this photo of a snack given to my young son after his soccer game.  

In case you can't read the labels, that's a whole 35 grams of sugar. How many calories do you burn in a kiddie soccer game, anyway?

Lessons Learned While Dissolving Chocolate

When we went on vacation to the beach, I took an afternoon to pound away at the candy experiments book.  One experiment was on dissolving chocolate, so I pulled out some of the glasses in the cabin, filled them up, and dropped in chocolate pieces:

Here's something this teetotaler never knew before: some shot glasses are so narrow you can't fit a spoon down inside to scoop out a piece of chocolate!  (Luckily this was a well-stocked cabin: I soon turned up something like a pickle fork that worked just fine.)

This photo is of one of the chocolate experiments, with tiny fragments of chocolate dissolving at the bottom.

Candy Experiments in Homeschooling Newsletter

Candyexperiments.com was just featured in a newsletter by homeschooling-ideas.com. Besides the blurb for candy experiments, there's also a great (and short!) animation of a black hole swallowing a star, sidewalk chalk art that's unbelieveably realistic, and a scrapbook with a picture of a medieval undercroft I'm sure I've visited. What fun!

 Thanks for the interest.