Candy Chemistry

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To welcome February, the third grade students indulged in some very sweet science! First they explored the molecular structure of sucrose, and used models to explore exactly what is going on at a molecular level when sugar dissolves in a liquid. They stirred up a recipe of rock candy syrup, which has been slowly crystalizing in the classroom. Making rock candy was a lesson not only in patience, but also in chemical formulas and saturated solutions.

By far the most exciting activity of the week was capturing carbon dioxide gas in balloons. The students worked in groups to see how various substances react with soda to release carbon dioxide. This was a bubbly, exciting moment in the classroom!

Students also dissolved conversation hearts in various liquids, including water, soda, corn syrup, and vinegar. During this experiment, some of the students made an unexpected observation correlating the color of the hearts and their rate of dissolution. Jack and Ellie took that question and ran with it, working together to write a formal hypothesis and experiment plan. They tested out their idea and concluded red dye dissolves at a slower rate than blue dye. What a fabulous (and delicious) way to practice inquiry!