29 Oct STEM Challenge – Halloween Candy Sink or Float Challenge
Halloween is this weekend, and we want you to experiment with some of your extra Halloween Candy! This week we are going to be predicting and investigating which type of candy sinks and which type of candy floats when placed in water.
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- Our Candy Hypothesis and Results Worksheet
- Assorted Halloween candies – you may want to choose your least favorite candies to test! We recommend testing at least 5 different candies, but you can choose as many as you would like.
- Clear plastic cup or bowl (a pyrex measuring cup works great!)
- About 8 oz. of water
- Paper towels to absorb water when candy is removed
- Print or recreate our Candy Hypothesis and Results Worksheet.
- Prepare your water/cup and unwrap your candy.
- On your worksheet, write the names of the candy you will be testing in the “Type of Candy” Column. Then, make your hypothesis: check the sink or float box next to each candy based on what you think that candy will do when you drop it into the water. You may want to feel and or hold each piece of candy before making your decision.
- Test! Begin testing your candy. Drop each piece one by one into the water and see if it sinks or floats. Write on your worksheet in the results column what happened to each type of candy.
The Scientific Takeaway:
Through observation, you will notice that candies that are dense will sink to the bottom of the cup. The density of the candy depends on what is inside the candy. Candies that have whipped ingredients like nougat, marshmallow, or malted milk will float because the air pockets inside the candy make them less dense and therefore more buoyant. Candy that is solid chocolate or filled with peanut butter or caramel will sink because they are denser than the water into which they are dropped.