This Gummy Bear Experiment is a fun activity for children of a variety of ages.
Gummy Bear Experiment
Start by completing the parts of the experiment printables that you can, such as the Materials Needed, Hypothesis as well as the before pictures. We also measured the gummy bears as well.
Then collect your cups and add the water, milk, vinegar or other fluids that you are using. In the picture below, you will see that the cups are quite full. We ended up removing half of the water, just after this photo was taken. For young children, I prefer to use small plates that are more open for young children to see what is happening better.
For the ingredients that are added to the water, such as salt, boil some water and slowly add a teaspoon of salt, mixing it as you go. Keep adding salt and mixing in. You will end up with around 1 tablespoon of salt to ½ cup of boiling water. Let it cool completely, even place it in the fridge before adding your bear as you don’t want to melt it.
Repeat as above with the boiling water for the sugar and bicarb soda water, allowing to cool before starting.
Add one or two bears to each of the containers.
After about 18 hours, we checked our bears and recorded our data. The kids drew the results as well as measured the bears. If you leave them too long, they will start to break or fall apart.
I suggest that you don’t eat them as not only would they taste horrible, they would probably be full of bacteria from sitting in the containers and with all the handling of them.
The Science Behind This
The main ingredients of these bears are sugar, sucrose and gelatine. The gelatine absorbs some of the water, allowing the bears to expand, without dissolving, which is a great way to teach kids about osmosis. What is osmosis? Since the bears do not contain water, the water moves into the bear by the process of osmosis – which is the process where water moves from a greater concentration of water to a lower concentration of water. Over time, the bear acts like a sponge, absorbing the water rather than being dissolved in it.