Gummy Bear Science Experiment

Help Your Little One Understand Osmosis With This Simple Growing Gummy Bears Science Experiment

Gummy bears sure are yummy, but they are tiny. What if you could grow a huge gummy bear? Do you think that’s possible? Will the large gummy bear be as yummy as the regular one? Perform the gummy bear science experiment with your little ones to find out. Science experiments for kids are a great way to help children understand difficult science lessons, like the concept of osmosis. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to performing the growing gummy bears science experiment at home.

Things You Need For The Gummy Bear Science Experiment

The growing gummy bear experiment is not only fun but inexpensive too. All you need are:

  1. 3 gummy bears, one red, one green and one yellow (you can use any color of your choice)
  2. 3 glasses filled with water
  3. ¼ cup of sugar
  4. ¼ cup of salt
  5. Spoon
  6. Ruler
  7. Scale
  8. Pen and paper

Steps To Set Up The Gummy Bear Science Experiment

Setting up the expanding gummy bear experiment is very easy. Follow these instructions to perform the experiment:

  1. Place the 3 glasses of water on your work surface. Ensure that the level of water in all 3 glasses is the same.
  2. Add ¼ cup of sugar into the 1st glass of water. Stir with the spoon until it’s completely dissolved.
  3. Now add ¼ cup of salt to the 2nd glass of water and stir till it is completely dissolved.
  4. Using the ruler, measure the height, length and width of each of the gummy bears and write it on the paper.
  5. Now, measure the weight of each gummy bear using the scale and note it down.
  6. Now, add the red gummy bear into the glass with sugar and the green gummy bear into the glass with salt. Finally, add the yellow gummy bear into the glass with plain water. 
  7. Note down the time and allow the gummy bears to sit undisturbed in their water bath for 12 hours.
  8. After 12 hours, check the gummy bears. Take them out of the water and measure and weigh them.

Results Of The Expanding Gummy Bear Experiment

After 12 hours, you’ll see something magical in the 3 glasses. 

  1. You’ll notice that the yellow gummy bear, which we put in the plain water, has expanded and grown into a big gummy bear.
  2. The green gummy bear, which was in the salt solution, has barely grown. 
  3. The red gummy bear, which was in the sugar solution, has shrunk.

The Science Behind Gummy Bear Experiment

So, why did the 3 gummy bears behave differently? Let’s find out by learning the science behind the expanding and shrinking gummy bears.

  1. Why did the gummy bear in plain water become bigger?
  2. When the gummy bear is added to the plain water, it expands because of a process called Osmosis.

    Gummy bears are made of gelatin, sugar, and flavoring, which are dissolved in warm water. A bit of the water leaves the solution as it cools leaving a firm but chewy candy bear. When you add the gummy bear into the water, the water moves into the gummy bear to balance the amount of water and sugar. With more and more water moving into the gummy bear, it expands and grows bigger.

  3. Why did the gummy bears in the sugar solution shrink?
  4. In the glass with the sugar solution, the concentration of sugar is greater than the amount of sugar in the gummy bear. So, the water in the gummy bear moves out to balance the concentration of sugar, which makes the gummy bear shrink.

  5. Why did the gummy bear in the salt solution not grow much?

Salt molecules are much smaller than gelatin. So, the concentration of salt in the salt solution is greater than the salt content in the gummy bear. As a result, the water in the gummy bear moves into the salt solution to balance out the concentration of salt. This is why the gummy bear in the salt solution doesn’t grow much.

  • What is Osmosis?
  • Osmosis is the process where water molecules or any solvent moves from an area with a lower concentration of solute to an area with a higher concentration of solute to balance the 2 solutions.

    You Can Do More With Gummy Bear In Water Science Experiment

    Now that we know how gummy bears behave in water, sugar, and salt, let’s see how they behave with other solutions. Let’s perform the gummy bear science experiment with liquids other than water.

    Here is what you need to perform this experiment:

    1. Gummy bears
    2. Vinegar
    3. Milk
    4. Olive oil
    5. 3 bowls
    6. Ruler
    7. Scale
    8. Pen and paper

    Instructions

    1. Place the vinegar, milk and olive oil in 3 different bowls.
    2. Now, measure the height, length, width and weight of each of the gummy bears. Note the measurements down.
    3. Then, place 1 gummy bear in each of the 3 bowls. Note the time.
    4. After 12 hours, check the gummy bears. Note down the changes in each of the gummy bears. 
    5. Ask the children to check how the gummy bears behaved differently in each of the liquids.

    Check Osmo for more experiments, activities, games, and worksheets to aid in your kids learning.

    Why should you do the growing gummy bears science experiment?

    The gummy bear science experiment is a wonderful way to help little children understand the concept of osmosis.

    What do you need for the expanding gummy bears experiment?

    The gummy bear in the water science experiment is very simple and needs very few things. All you need are 3 glasses of water, gummy bears, sugar, salt, scale, ruler, pen, and paper.