Santa's Sweetie Science!

November 16

Skittles diffusion: simply fill a small white plate with water (a few millimetres deep) and place a selection of Skittles or M&Ms around the edge. Keep it very still and watch as the colours travel across the plate. See the Fab Science Facebook page for an explanation of how this happens!

A chemical reaction that you can eat: all cooking is chemistry in action but my favourite edible experiment is honeycomb or cinder toffee. You need: 200g caster sugar, 5tbsp golden syrup and 2tsp baking soda. Heat the sugar and syrup in a pan while stirring (this is definitely a grown up job!), when it is all melted and golden, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. Watch as the chemical reaction happens and bubbles of carbon dioxide form in the toffee. Pour onto a greased baking tray and wait for it to cool before testing out your tastebuds!

Giant jellies: Pop a few jelly sweets into water and leave somewhere safe for a few hours. You should see them grow into giant jellies! You might imagine that they would just dissolve in water but they have a magic ingredient, gelatine, which holds them together. This gelatine is found as big, long molecules inside the sweets, just like the polymers in slime that we made last year. Investigate using salty water or different sweets to find out what happens. 

Dancing cake sprinkles: Drop some cake sprinkles in a glass of lemonade and watch them dance up and down! If you look closely you’ll see that each on gets a bubble at the bottom of the glass, this acts like tiny life-jacket which makes it float upwards. Unfortunately a bubble life-jacket is not ideal as it pops on the surface and the sprinkles fall back down! 

As always, kids should be supervised, especially with the hot sugar. Don’t eat your giant jellies as they might not have been the only things growing in the water!

Emma Ranade spends most of her time exploding things and experimenting at Fab Science birthday parties, holiday clubs and school workshops. www.fabscience.co.uk 07799 624777

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