Candy Cane Experiment

Candy Cane Experiment

Don’t blink, it’s nearly Christmas! Try this Candy Cane Experiment today!


What a great time to avoid the craziness at the shops, stay home and try this candy cane experiment.

If you have an abundance of candy canes in your house like we do, it’s fun to experiment with them.  Try this experiment today in class or at home.

You Will Need:

– candy canes (small ones work better) or break larger ones into smaller pieces
– glass dish (so you can see whats happening)
– water at different temperatures (cold, room temperature and hot)
– clock or stop watch
Step 1:  Add water to each of your containers at different temperatures

Step 2:  Add a candy cane to each dish


STOP & THINK : Prediction time!!! Which temperature will dissolve the candy cane the fastest? Why is this?


Step 3:  Start your timer and record the start time.

Step 4:  Observe what happens

Step 5:  Check your experiment every so often and note any changes.

Step 6: Record the amount of time it takes for each candy cane to dissolve, or for the colour to come off.


What’s happening?

Lollies like candy canes are made of sugar and sugar dissolves in water. Super simple science, but it is a fun way to learn about things that dissolve in water and things that don’t.  A water molecule has powerful properties, because of the two super charged hydrogen atoms stuck to a negatively charged oxygen atom, a water molecule can break apart the bonds that hold together sugar molecules and insert itself between them. Eventually they come between all the sugar molecules dissolving the candy cane.  You can also speed up or slow down this process by varying the temperature of the water. Hot water provides the molecules with energy and they move faster and spread further apart therefore dissolving faster.



What else can we use?

You can vary this experiment by using other liquids to try to dissolve your candy canes.  Why not try vinegar or milk?  Candy canes might dissolve more slowly in vinegar, since the acetic acid molecules don’t dissolve sugar as well as water does.



NOTE: This is a Street Science Original Activity and may be used only in publications with written permission of the Street Science Executive.  For non-profit use only.



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