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Gummy Bear Investigation (0 Favorites)

LAB in Observations, Chemical Change, Physical Change. Last updated July 16, 2018.


Summary

In this lab students will write a plan then conduct an experiment using the scientific method to observe the physical and chemical changes that a gummy bear will experience when placed in a solution of their choice.

Grade Level

Elementary School

Objectives

By the end of this lab, students should be able to

  • Create a plan to conduct an experiment using the scientific method.
  • Record and analyze collected data and then make a conclusion.
  • Differentiate between instances of physical and chemical change.

Chemistry Topics

This lab supports students’ understanding of

  • Physical change
  • Chemical change
  • Scientific method

Time

Teacher Preparation: 20 minutes
Lesson: 2 hours (plus an overnight period)

Materials

  • measuring cups
  • small containers/plastic cups (1 container for each student)
  • rulers
  • scales
  • gummy bears (2 for each student)
  • water
  • food coloring water (a few drops of food coloring to each ¼ cup of water)
  • salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt to each ¼ cup of water)
  • sugar water (1/2 teaspoon of sugar to each ¼ cup of water)
  • baking soda water (1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to each ¼ cup of water)
  • lemon juice
  • vinegar
  • milk
  • soda

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Do not consume lab solutions, even if they’re otherwise edible products.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.
  • Students should wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • When students complete the lab, instruct them how to clean up their materials and dispose of any chemicals.
  • Students should wear proper safety gear during chemistry demonstrations. Safety goggles and lab apron are required.

Teacher Notes

  • Brain pop Jr. has this helpful video to introduce the concept of physical and chemical changes to students. I encourage teachers to share this with students before completing the lab.
  • Vocabulary that students should review:
    • Solution: a liquid mixture.Physical change: occurs when matter changes size, shape, or form.
    • Chemical change: occurs when a substance becomes a different substance. This change is irreversible.
  • Teacher preparation lab solutions prior to lab:
    • food coloring water (a few drops of food coloring to each ¼ cup of water)
    • salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt to each ¼ cup of water)
    • sugar water (1/2 teaspoon of sugar to each ¼ cup of water)
    • baking soda water (1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to each ¼ cup of water)
  • Students will choose your own solution to combine with the gummy bear in this experiment and follow prompts to write a guided lab report. Make sure that students focus on the physical and chemical changes that may occur.
  • Students should be told to plan for their gummy bear to remain in the solution overnight as part of the procedures.
  • Differentiation: For younger students you may want to give guided procedures for students to follow and a list of possible physical and chemical changes to check for.
  • Differentiation: For older students you may want to give students multiple gummy bears, and allow students to use multiple solutions or combinations of solutions and compare the results of each.

For the student

Lesson

Background

Physical changes can happen when matter changes size, shape, or form. After a substance goes through a chemical change, it becomes a different substance and cannot be changed back to its original form.

Prelab Questions

  1. What are some examples of physical changes?
  2. What are some examples of chemical changes?

Objective

We will investigate which solution will make the gummy bear have a physical or chemical change. Also we will look for observations such as which solution will increase or decrease the mass and length of the gummy bear?

Materials

  • Measuring cups
  • Small containers/plastic cups
  • Gummy bears
  • Food coloring water
  • Salt water
  • sugar water
  • Baking soda water
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Milk
  • Soda
  • Rulers
  • Scales

Safety

  • Always wear safety goggles when handling chemicals in the lab.
  • Do not consume lab solutions, even if they’re otherwise edible products.
  • Food in the lab should be considered a chemical not for consumption.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab.
  • Follow your teacher’s instructions for clean-up of your materials..

Procedure

  1. Choose from the list of solutions to use in your experiment:
    1. food coloring water
    2. salt water
    3. sugar water
    4. baking soda water
    5. lemon juice
    6. vinegar
    7. milk
    8. soda
  2. Decide on a question to ask, this is what you will investigate in your experiment. Record it in the space provided below. Examples:
    Will the ___ solution change the length of the gummy bear?
    Will the ___ solution change the mass of the gummy bear?
    Question:
  3. Write a Hypothesis: Use research and your background knowledge to make an educated guess that answers your question.
    Hypothesis:

  4. List all the materials that are needed for you experiment (look at the list above for help):
    Materials:

  5. Design a procedure: Create a step-by-step plan of what you will do to test your hypothesis. Your experiment should only change one variable at a time.
    Procedure:

  6. Collect Data: What data will you need to record in your experiment? Think about the question you asked. Also make sure to record any physical and chemical changes that occurred.
    Data:
  7. Analyze Results: Analyze your data, and calculate any changes that occurred. Also think about any errors or unexpected surprises that could have affected your experiment. Write your analysis below:
  8. Conclusion: Make a conclusion about your results. Make sure to discuss any physical and chemical changes that occurred. Does your results support or oppose your hypothesis? Was your hypothesis correct or incorrect? Why do you think this happened?
  9. Share Your Results: Make a poster, write a paper, or tell a friend. Explain how you will share your results below.
  10. Write a question that this experiment made you curious about. Examples:
    1. Do you think other candy may change in different solutions?
    2. Do you think it is dangerous to eat candy with certain drinks?