Dissolving Candy Canes
This is a fun, easy experiment that kids will love this time of year. Dissolving candy canes is a great way to learn about dissolving. Dissolving just doesn’t happen when any liquid meets any solid ….. it happens when the right solid meets the right liquid. Thank goodness! Can you imagine the mess we would be in right now. Just think what if your coffee cup (the solid) dissolved as soon as the coffee (the liquid) touched it.
Materials you will need:
- Candy Canes most any brand will work.
- Container to hold the liquid: I used a Styrofoam plate but you may use what you have on hand
- Liquid: Water or Milk just enough to get the liquid up to the edges of the candy cane. It will depend on the the size of your container.
- Recording Sheet provided click below to download the recording sheet.
Candy Cane Dissolving Experiment
This is a great lesson for learning about soluble and insoluble substances before you get started. It is from BBC Bitesize. The kids have a lot of misconceptions about how dissolving works. This is a good time to get them thinking about it.
This lesson can be done in 40 minutes if you keep it moving along. You could also do it over two days. I did this lesson in small groups of 4 or 5. Each student gets a recording sheet. After viewing the materials. I ask them to color the candy cane on the sheet to match the one they have and write down which liquid they are using. They also write down their hypothesis. If I you breaking down the lesson into 2 parts.) this is where you would stop. When each student has their name, candy cane represented and liquid written down. I put a plate with an open candy cane on the group table. Then I added the liquid to each plate. Whether you do it or the students is up to you. I did it during this one mainly because of my class schedule. The students need to be encourage not to bump or blow on the plate. (If they do they will end up with a greenish brown soup and it makes other kids mad.) I did this with over a 100 kids and two groups bumped their plate. (I replace the plate after a minute because I want them to do science…most of the time it was an opps anway on the kids part.) I tell them we are observing. All good scientists observe!! We observe for 5 minutes. I just set a timer. You will love hearing all the oohs and ahhs from the kids!
After 5 minutes the children should draw what they see. The observable not what they think will happen! They should also write what happened above the drawing. After they have written their results we get together as a group to discuss the results. After about 15 minutes the candy can will completely dissolve.
If you have more time or want to do milk as the liquid you can extend this lesson for several days. The worksheet is flexible for different liquids. The milk reacts very differently!
Candy Cane Science Video