Candy Cane Science Experiment

When I was teaching, I remember one of my coworkers who taught 3rd grade doing this super fun experiment with her kids the day before Christmas break each year, and I thought I’d pull it out for Becca.  We had a blast together.


Here’s what you’ll need:

4 clear plastic cups
Sharpee marker
3 cups HOT water (I microwaved for 2 mins)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup vinegar
4 small candy canes
Paper to record your findings

As you can see, I labeled our cups, and drew a line where I had figured out 1 cup would be – so they’d all be equal.  We poured our hot water into the three water cups, and stirred to dissolve the salt and the baking soda.  Added our vinegar to the vinegar cup, then Becca did a quick taste of each candy cane to ensure authenticity and uniformity in our experiment.  She said they were all real. 😉  Then, we dropped one in each cup and began to observe.


Here’s what we found… see what you find!  This would be really fun to do with red and white candy canes, and then do another set with candy canes of different colors to see how different colors react.

Initial observations:
Water had the most bubbles instantly.
Baking Soda Water turned the pink the fastest and left no red on the candy cane within one minute.
The vinegar had a definite divide between the pink liquid and clear liquid – the pink didn’t float up past the top of the candy cane.
The salt water seemed to have the most pink dispersed throughout the cup.IMG_1579

Ten minutes later:
The candy cane in the water was totally gone.
The candy cane in the baking soda was totally gone.
The candy cane in the salt water was mostly gone – Becca predicted it’d be all gone in 4 minutes (she was right!)
The candy cane in the vinegar was just a thin white piece – she predicted it’d be all gone in 6 minutes (she was right!)


Two hours later:
All cups have a higher concentration of pink at the bottom than at the top, but the baking soda and plain water have some pink throughout.  The salt water has pink settled only at the bottom, and the vinegar has pink only at the bottom.


Author: travelwchristy

I am a SPED Paraprofessional who is mom to three beautiful children, a wife to a fabulous man, and blessed beyond compare!

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