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Make Your Own Rock Candy

In & Outdoor $
Chemistry, Food Science, States of Matter

Activity Overview

Share the nostalgic treat of rock candy with your family with this easy at home science experiment that yields a sweet treat at its conclusion. This experiment will produce a delicious stick of white rock candy. If you desire to have colored rock candy, you may add several drops of food coloring to your sugar solution; enough to give the solution a deep color. Adult supervision is necessary for this experiment.

Materials Needed

  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 Tall Glass or Jar
  • 1 chopstick or clean wooden skewer
  • 1 clothespin

Adult assistance is needed for this experiment because boiling water is involved.

How to Do It

  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add sugar a little at a time while stirring until it all is absorbed into solution. If for any reason the sugar stops dissolving, stop adding sugar.
  3. This process will take some time, so do not get discouraged. Each time that you add sugar, it will take longer for it to dissolve.
  4. Once the solution is fully saturated with sugar, have an adult remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool for 35-40 minutes.
  5. While the cooling process is underway,wet your skewer and roll it in sugar.
  6. Clip your clothespin to the end of the skewer and line it up so that the skewer will hand into the jar with one inch clearance from the bottom of the jar. Set aside the skewer and clothespin.
  7. When the solution has completely cooled, have an adult pour the solution into the jar. Fill the jar almost to the top.
  8. Then submerge the skewer setup back into the jar so that the stick is suspended one inch from the bottom and not touching any of the sides of the jar.
  9. Put the jar someplace where you can view it but it will remain undisturbed for 3-7 days. Watch what happens.

Scientific Explanation

The solution that you made with the sugar and water is called a Super Saturated Solution. This happens because the water can only hold the sugar when it is very hot. When it cools, the sugar will start to fall out of the solution and go back to its original crystalized form which attaches themselves to the skewer.

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