Shrinking Gummy Worms

Shrink candy in this science experiment. You can even do this as a gummy worm science fair project.

What to do:

  1. Prepare several cups of water. Measure out salt or sugar and add to each cup. For instance, you might add one tablespoon of salt to one cup, two tablespoons of salt to a second cup, one tablespoon of sugar to a third cup, and so on. (Make sure to write down how much salt or sugar you added to each cup.)
  2. Make a hypothesis (prediction) about which solution will shrink the gummy candy most. Put a gummy worm in each cup of water.
  3. Leave the worms in water for up to two days.
  4. Remove each worm and measure it to see how much it shrank or grew.
  5. Write down your results and to learn if your hypothesis was correct.
You can do this experiment with gummy worms, gummy bears, or any type of gummy candy that contains gelatin.

What's Happening:

Gummy worms contain water, which is what makes them chewy. When you put a gummy worm in a cup of salt water, the water flows out of the gummy worm into the salt water. This is because water naturally flows from a less concentrated solution (the gummy bear) to a more concentrated solution (the salt water). This process is called osmosis.

This experiment can be found in the book Candy Experiments 2.

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