Halloween Science!

Who doesn’t love learning a lesson while eating your candy? Some may think that learning ruins the fun of candy eating, but I would add where’s the fun in that? When it came time to do something fun for our class “Fall Party,” my colleague introduced me to the idea of candy science experiments. It has been so many years since I started this that I can’t remember if these were her experiments or if I Googled other ones. Regardless, I will share three good ones for some Halloween Science. They require very little setup and provide lots of great knowledge and taste.

Gummi Bears (Before the Soak)

The first experiment I do requires some gummi bears and a cup of water. Put a gummi bear in the cup and set it aside for later. Eat all but one of the remaining gummi bears (that’s the fun part). Leave the cup sit for 30-45 minutes while you do the rest of the experiments. After you finish the other experiments, bring back the cup and take out the gummi bear. Compare the non-soaked gummi to the one from the cup. The soaked gummi should be bigger. Now for the knowledge part. The gummi swells because gelatin in the gummi absorbs the water causing it to swell. (Don’t forget to eat the last good gummi.)

Make the “S” Float

The next experiment that I do requires Skittles and another glass of water. Take a Skittle with a good, solid “S” on it and put it in the cup. I like to have the students pick a darker one so the “S” is more visible. Now watch and wait. While waiting, eat the rest of the Skittles. In a short while, the “S” will come off the candy and float, intact, to the top of the water. Science time. The “S” is made with edible ink. The candy dissolves faster than the ink and releases the “S.”

Do a Density Test

The final experiment involves more water and different types of candy. For this, I like to buy the variety pack that has Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, and 3 Musketeers. I also like to get a carton of Whoppers and a bag of Kit Kats. To do the experiment, I have the students take the candy one at a time and put it in the water. For the science portion of this experiment, we talk about how candy that is more dense than water will sink and less dense will float. I always try to have the Whoppers, 3 Musketeers, and Kit Kats because they float. Don’t forget to have the kids eat the leftovers.

These activities can be done as a lead up to Halloween or as something to do with all the extra loot the kids bring home. They are always a hit in school because the extra candy gets eaten, but doing these fun Halloween science experiments really help the concepts stick in the kids’ brains…speaking from experience.

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