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Candy Science

Floating M Experiment

Supplies:

  • M&Ms
  • Warm Water
  • Shallow bowl or mini cups (you can try this in individual cups like you see below or in one cup like the video)

 

Ask the Beavers to create a hypothesis:

What do they think will happen when you place the candy in the water?

 

Directions

  1. Fill your container{s} with water. Place M&M’s m side up in the water.
  2. Watch and see what happens!

 

The science behind to explain to Beavers:

Why does the M float? Some parts of this favourite candy are water-soluble. What does water soluble mean? It dissolves in water, of course! Water molecules are able to surround the molecules of the solid and dissolve them into the water.

With this floating M activity, you can see the coloured shell of the candy is water-soluble. However, the special m is not! As the shell dissolves, the M floats free.

Is The Candy Sour?

Supplies:

  • Clear Cups
  • Water
  • Sour Candy (yellow War Heads Candy react the best)
  • Baking soda
  • Spoon

Ask the Beavers to make a hypothesis

What do they think will happen to the candy in the water when you add baking soda? Do they think the reaction will be the same for all the candies?

 

Instructions:

  1. Fill a few cups with water (it helps if the cups are clear so that you can see the reaction better) and drop different kinds of candy in each one.
  2. Then add a spoonful of baking soda. Since these candies are sour, they are highly acidic, and the resulting reaction will produce bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
  3. Then try the same step but crushing a candy first. Does it speed up or slow down the effect?

Which candies make the most bubbles?

The science behind it to explain to the beavers.

Since these candies are sour, they are highly acidic, and the resulting reaction with baking soda will produce bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.

Will The Candy Bar Sink Or Float?

Supplies:

  • Assorted candies
  • A clear plastic cup filled with water

 

Ask the Beavers to make a hypothesis?

Which candy bars do they think will sink? Which candy bars do they think will float?

 

Instructions:

  • One by one, I dropped the unwrapped candies into a clear plastic cup filled with water.
  • Have Beavers watch what happens!

 

Which candy bar sinks the quickest?

Which candy bar made it all the way to the bottom of the cup? 

Which candy bars float? Or which one sank slowly?

 

The science behind it to explain to the Beavers

Dense candy bars will sink to the bottom of the cup. The density of the candy, however, depends on what is inside the candy.

Candies with whipped ingredients like nougat, marshmallow, or malted milk will float because their air pockets make them less dense and therefore more buoyant.

Candy that is solid chocolate or filled with peanut butter or caramel will sink because they are denser than the water they are dropped.

Dense objects are closely compacted in substance. Like a rock!

Engineering Challenge: Build Your Own Candy Tower

Have Beavers work together in their lodge to create the tallest tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti.

After five minutes, ask them what’s working? What is making this task challenging? What is their strategy to build the tallest tower?

Inventing Challenge: Design Your Own Candy

Give each Beaver a piece of paper and colouring supplies. Ask them to invent their own candy.

Here are some brainstorming questions:

  • Will your candy be; sweet, salty, sour, or spicy?
  • What flavour will your candy be?
  • What will the wrapper look like?
  • How much will your candy cost?
  • What is your candy’s name?

Author

Kayla Bernard

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Updated Mar 24, 2021

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