Virtual school for my first grader son has its challenges, but it has some perks too. I am loving the extra time at home with my kids. We are usually able to finish up his afternoon activities a lot quicker than the time allotted for the class, so we have extra time to play, or do fun activities.
My son’s teacher gave him Halloween candy science experiments to do all week. We were all thrilled for this opportunity to experiment together and enjoy some Halloween candy. We liked this Candy Corn experiment so much I had to share it with you on the blog. I hope you try it out and have as much fun as we did!
- 4 small bowls
- Candy Corn
- Fill four small bowls halfway with milk, water, oil, and vinegar individually.
2. Drop 1 to 3 Candy Corns into each bowl, and observe if it sinks or floats.
3. Continue to watch the Candy Corn in each bowl, does it start to dissolve in each liquid?
Advanced options for Elementary School aged kids:
- Explain why things sink or float (density and buoyancy), and dissolution (will it dissolve?). See explanations of each of these concepts in the STEAM Concepts Learned section below.
2. Help your child make two tables with four columns and three rows. Title one table Experiment Hypothesis, and title the second table Experiment Results.
3. Before the experiment, fill out the following in the Experiment Hypothesis table: In the first row, write the names of each liquid, one per column. In the second row, make a prediction if the Candy Corn will sink or float in each liquid. In the third row, predict if the Candy Corn will dissolve in each liquid.
4. After the experiment, fill out the following in the Experiment Results table: In the first row, write the names of each liquid, one per column. In the second row, write if the Candy Corn did sink or float in each liquid. In the third row, write if the Candy Corn did or did not dissolve in each liquid.
5. Compare your hypotheses to the results and discuss the differences in your predictions to the actual results.
STEAM Concepts Learned:
- Sink or Float – The density of an object is mass times volume. Objects float due to buoyancy. Buoyancy is the upward force on an object from a fluid. It is determined by the density of the object being dropped into the fluid and the density of the fluid being displaced. Objects float on a denser fluid because the force of buoyancy is greater.
- Dissolution – Candy Corn is our solute and it dissolves in a solvent (milk, water, and vinegar) to form a solution. I did not list oil as a solvent because it isn’t a solvent for Candy Corn. The concentration, the polarity, and temperature of each solvent, can all affect how well the Candy Corn dissolves in the solvents. For example, Candy Corn will dissolve quicker in warm or hot water than in cold or room temperature water.
My kids had a lot of fun making guesses about what will happen. They also enjoyed eating one Candy Corn for each one they dropped in the liquid. And since it’s almost Halloween, I said why not?
My kids were excited and surprised by the results. We all found it interesting to watch as the outer wax layer pulled away from the candy as it dissolved.
To be honest, it made me a little uncomfortable knowing they are eating that layer of wax (that doesn’t dissolve in any of the liquids we tested) when they eat the candy. But I reminded myself that they only eat a few of these candies once a year at most, so hopefully this very small amount isn’t too bad for us.
After we finished the experiment my kids wanted to do it all over again. So I’d say this was a successful Halloween STEAM activity!
If you want more Halloween STEAM activity ideas, please see some of my Halloween slime experiments: Make Your Own Oobleck and Easy Halloween Slime.