The Jelly Bean Experiment

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Testing the Dissolve Rates of Different Solutions

Kids can choose solutions around the house to test.

This science experiment can be done anytime of the year. I was inspired by “Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure” written by Kimberly and James Dean. While reading this book the reader learns a little about Pete’s favorite candy, at Easter anyway, the jelly bean. This experiment can piggy back off of our “Rainbow Seeds Science Experiment.”

30 Page Digital Download Inspired by “Pete the Cat”

I put together a video of how I conducted the experiment. The video is very basic and only a couple of minutes long. I recommend watching it as it is really easy to conduct this experiment.

Click on image to watch video (3:20)

All kids are at different levels of learning and curiosity. My goal with this blog is to help equip you with enough resources to be excited about sharing this with your child. On the surface this looks like a pretty boring experiment. However, their minds are like sponges and they will come away with more questions than when you began. Especially if you use maple syrup as one of your solutions to test. I say this because kids might want to do this experiment over and over, as they obtain more knowledge about the world around them.

Sugar and Water Mini-lesson #1

If you watched the video, you noticed that there is a quick water and sugar experiment. This is to show that sugar dissolves is water. Really young children might liken this to magic, they are just so adorable! All you need is some sugar, water, spoon and a glass. Dissolve and then use the Scientific Method (included in download) to help guide children to conducting their own experiments. If you click on the image with the magnifying glass, it is a link for a video explaining why this happens. This is less than one minute in length.

NOTE: Sugar is colorless and this is why is completely disappears.

Click image to watch video (0:52)

The water and the sugar have a strong attraction to each others molecules. The water pulls on the sugar until the molecules are all shared evenly within the water; dissolved.

Kid friendly analogy — The glass of water are hungry kids and the jelly beans are the sugar. Good manners is the polarity (measure of the electrical difference in the molecule — kind of like a magnetic force). All the jelly beans will be evenly distributed to the hungry kids; dissolved.

Jelly Bean Analogy Hands-on Mini-lesson #2

Hands on group activity to further reinforce the sugar molecules separating in the water. You will need a bag of jelly beans and a jar or bowl. We used the engineered candy dish we made from the engineering challenge in the digital download. If you are a homeschool caregiver or teacher of older elementary children, you can adjust accordingly to their academic level.

Put the jelly beans in a jar in the middle of the table; this represents the sugar. Have a large circle, use tape or construction paper, to mimic the shape of a glass. This represents a glass of water. Taking turns, have one students take a single jelly bean out and place it somewhere within the circle. As students take turns have them space them evenly as possible. If you are in a class room with many students, you will need more jelly beans. Students will have fun. You can also add a little challenge and time the groups. What group can get the bast time? This is can be done as a pre or post activity.

Dissolving sugar in water hands-on visual; Table represents a glass of water, and jelly beans are sugar crystals.

The Jelly Bean Experiment

SUPPLIES

  • 4 Jelly Beans (same color)
  • 3 Clear Plastic Cups
  • Spoon
  • Timer
  • Paper Towels
  • Marker
  • Science Journal
  • Pencil/Markers
  • 3 Solutions to test

METHOD

  1. Visit the Scientific Method Guide (in digital download or Google) to explore the steps to the experiment.
  2. Label the three plastic cups (we used a Sharpie).
  3. Fill each cup about half way with chosen liquids to be tested.
  4. Place one jelly bean in each cup and set the timer for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove jelly bean and record results.
  6. Place jelly bean back in the original cups, and set the timer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. When timer rings, remove jelly beans and record results on your science journal (in digital download, or record in a science notebook).
  8. Place the jelly beans back in the original cups and set the timer for 45 additional minutes.
  9. When the timer rings, remove jelly beans and record the results.
  10. Share experiment findings.
Test any non-hazardous liquids you have in the home; apple or orange juice, etc.

It is important for young learners to figure out what they want to test in the experiment. I recommend the water, because after the mini-lesson most kids will be able to predict the outcome of what will happen to the jelly bean. I really like the maple syrup because there is so much sugar already present in maple syrup, that the jelly bean doesn’t really dissolve. This is important for two reasons. First, it shows the child that not all liquids are the same. And second, it should help them to become more curious and appreciate the field of science. Here is a graph of how much sap it takes to make maple syrup.

When all the water is boiled out;39 gallons of water evaporates and we are left with the sugar.

EXTEND: As water evaporates it becomes a gas and part of the water cycle. Have kids use the sugar water from mini-lesson #1 to test evaporation of sugar and water. They can test to see what will happen to the sugar. Sugar is like salt and the molecules of sugar will remain in the dish.

Thank you for reading about “The Jelly Bean Experiment.” There is a lot of information here, we trust these resources will help you to conduct a successful scientific experiment with your children. See you soon!

Science & Engineering Challenge and more digital download featuring “Jelly Beans.”