Honestly, what could be better than science that ends with a sweet treat? Sugary science is probably the best science, and I’m sure your kids will agree. I mean, how often can you actually eat the final product of your science project?
(Most of the time things that you normally would eat sit in the pantry too long and become a science experiment in and of themselves… yuck.)
This is a super easy experiment that does require adult supervision because you’re dealing with very hot liquids, but it’s simple enough that most kids will really enjoy it. All that is required is some patience as it will take 3-7 days for the sugar crystals to fully develop. But honestly, checking to see what’s grown each morning is the biggest part of the fun!
I copied the supplies needed and instructions down below for easy reference, but feel free to pop over to the Science Bob website for some photo demonstrations as well. (They’ve got a whole bunch of other fun experiments, too!)
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A wooden skewer or chopstick
- A large clothespin
- 1 cup of water
- 2-3 cups of granulated sugar
- A tall narrow glass or jar
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Clip the wooden skewer into the clothespin so that it hangs down inside the glass and is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom of the glass. (as shown)
- Remove the skewer and clothespin and put them aside for now.
- Get a helpful adult!
- Pour the water into a pan and bring it to boil.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of sugar into the boiling water, stirring until it dissolves.
- Keep adding more and more sugar, each time stirring it until it dissolves, until no more will dissolve. This will take time and patience and it will take longer for the sugar to dissolve each time.Be sure you don’t give up too soon. Once no more sugar will dissolve, remove it from heat and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes.
NOTE: While it is cooling, some people like to dip half of the skewer in the sugar solution and then roll it in some sugar to help jump start the crystal growth. If you do this, be sure to let the skewer cool completely so that sugar crystals do not fall off when you place it back in the glass.
- Have your friendly ADULT carefully pour the sugar solution into the jar almost to the top. Then submerge the skewer back into the glass making sure that it is hanging straight down the middle without touching the sides.
- Allow the jar to fully cool and put it someplace where it will not be disturbed.
- Now just wait. The sugar crystals will grow over the next 3-7 days.
Want colored rock candy? Add food coloring to your sugar water and make sure sure that it is pretty dark in color for the best result.
And that’s it! Just check back each morning to see the sugar crystals magically forming on the stick! Your kids will love this. And since it’s made with just sugar and water (and possibly food coloring) it is totally safe to eat!
Let us know how this fun experiment turned out for you!
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