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Gummy Bear Experiment

The gummy bear experiment is a fun activity that teaches the basic concept of osmosis to the little ones in an easy manner. They will also be thrilled at the idea that their favorite gummy bears could teach them a lesson or two in science.

Gummy Bear Experiment

Gummy Bear Experiment

Gummy Bear Science Project Instructions

Hypothesis for Growing/Shrinking Gummy Bears

When a gummy bear is placed in a hypotonic solution (e.g. water) then it will increase in mass and volume. On the other hand, its mass and volume decrease when placed in a hypertonic solution (e.g. salt water). Hypertonic refers to a higher concentration of solutes and hypotonic is just the reverse.

Things Needed

  • Gummy Bear
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Scale
  • Physical balance or digital weighing machine
  • Sieve, plastic fork or screen
  • Pencil
  • Graph paper

Procedure

  1. Measure the dimensions (length, breadth and height) of the bear with a scale. Measure its mass with the balance.
  2. Fill the bowl with water.
  3. Completely immerse the gummy bear in the water.
  4. Let the bowl sit overnight in a place away from direct sunlight.
  5. Next day, lift the bear from the water with a plastic fork, sieve or screen.
  6. Record the dimensions and mass of the bear again.
  7. Do the same observation each day for a couple of days more.
  8. Plot a graph with the time in hours along the X-axis (the dependent variable) and the mass or weight of the gummy bear along the Y-axis (independent variable). Check the nature of the graph.

Things You Can Try

  • Set up a series of bowls on the table and fill them with different solutions like that of baking soda, vinegar, salt, distilled water, etc. Make similar observations as above for each one of them. Compare your results.
  • Also, check if the taste and/or color of the bears have changed.
Gummy Bear Experiment Osmosis

Gummy Bear Experiment Osmosis

Gummy Bear Osmosis Video

How Does It Work?

The ingredients of gummy bears are sugar, water, and gelatin, with little water content. Due to the process of osmosis, i.e., the movement of water molecules through a selectively permeable membrane from an area of high concentration to that of a lower concentration, the bear starts to grow. However, it doesn’t get dissolved as the gelatin is insoluble in water.

On trying out the different ideas, you will find that the degree of expansion of the candy depends on the liquid on which it is kept. However, vinegar, which is actually an acid, can dissolve the candy.

This simple trick can prove to be a cool science fair idea. The kids will be enthralled to display their knowledge to the audience in a fun way.

References:

http://biozone.weebly.com/uploads/2/7/4/2/274298/gummy_bear_osmosis.pdf

http://tinkerlab.com/incredible-growing-gummy-bears/

https://www.childrensmuseum.org/blog/saturday-science-growing-gummy-bears

http://www.homeschool.com/blog/index.php/2014/04/homeschool-science-gummy-bear-osmosis/

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