Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Candy Science - SweetTarts

Anyone have a few of these lying around? I'll be honest the results were pretty weak, but my kids loved this science activity - They want more candy science tomorrow...
So with a SweetTart, I found two different "experiments". Both produced better results with a crushed candy (which may have been the part my boys liked the most, crushing - what's not to love) - So this is before - an intact candy and chipping fingernail polish in a lovely blood shade for Halloween.
Experiment #1 - EROSION found here under "candy erosion" Don't even bother with the hair dryer option - these candies are way too tough, no erosion = boring. What we did is pour vinegar over the candy and watch, partially crushed (edges) erode. It was very mild, but worked and maybe my kids understand something about erosion now (That it takes forever).
Experiment #2 - ACID test. The best website for candy experiments is here. She has really cool ideas for tests and she explains them simply and scientifically. Again this worked faster with a crushed candy.
First she explains "Sour taste is the body's way of identifying acid, so if your candy tastes sour, it contains acid. "
What to do:
  1. Dissolve the candy in a half-cup of water.
  2. Sprinkle a spoonful of baking soda into water.
  3. Watch for bubbles. If it bubbles, the candy is acidic.
She suggests dissolving the candy in water first (we were a little impatient, maybe after watching the erosion do nothing so intently) so our candy wasn't fully dissolved before we added the soda, but it still bubbled a little. Pretty cool.
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Joanna said...

Interesting... I'm not sure I could convince someone to give up any candy (and not get to eat it!)

Luke said...

Seems a shame to do that to a perfectly edible sweet tart, but if it means less cavities and smarter boys, I'll take it.

Traci said...

Hmmmmm, I am going to show Will this post, as Sweet-tarts are one of his favorites! I bet the boys loved the science~

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

That is cool! We have an entire bag of these, so we'll be sure to do some experiments of our own too. What a great idea!

Loralee said...

So glad you liked the baking soda experiment idea. Some of the candy does take awhile to dissolve--it'll be faster if you crush it first (just like the erosion test). Pixy Stix work great too, because they dissolve almost instantly.

As far as convincing somebody to give up candy, I've done candy experiments with five groups of kids in the past week. Many of the kids really got into it, and once I told them the candy was only for experiments, not one of them tried to eat it. So good luck!