Invite your little scientists to do an experiment with gummy bears! This is one of our most popular STEAM activities.
What You’ll Need:
- Clear plastic cups
- gummy bears
Step 1: Give each child one clear plastic cup. Fill the cups about half full with water. Provide gummy bears, and invite each child to choose one. Talk about how the gummy bear looks, feels, and smells. Then, drop the gummy bear into the cup of water. Did it sink or float? Tell the children that you’re going to experiment to find out what happens to the gummy bear when it sits in the water overnight. Have children make predictions. Will it shrink? Dissolve? Get bigger? Will the water change color? (I chose one orange and one red gummy bear in my sample)
Step 2: Set the cups in a spot that will remain undisturbed overnight.
Step 3: The next day, bring out the cups of gummy bears, and observe the changes. Are the gummy bears floating or lying at the bottom of the cup? Does the water look the same? What do the children notice about the gummy bears? It might be helpful to have some regular gummy bears available to compare to.
Step 4: Write the children’s observations down on paper.
Step 5: Have children carefully remove the gummy bears from the cups. (You can place a hand over the cup while dumping the water in the sink to prevent the gummy bear from going down the drain.) Remind the children that the gummy bears will be fragile (the orange one broke as I was trying to remove it from the cup.) If a gummy bear breaks, explain to the child that you will record what happened on paper, just like real scientists would do. If you used several colors, track to see if certain colors seemed more fragile than others. Even accidents can turn into interesting observations! How does the gummy bear feel? Can the children smell its scent?
Place a regular gummy bear on one side of a sheet of a paper, and the gummy bear from the water on the other side. Write down comparisons between the two gummy bears after the children have made their observations.
Step 6: Recap the experiment. What did the children learn? Ask, “What happens when we leave a gummy bear in water overnight?”