Guest blog post by Amy Alvis
I was looking on Pinterest for a lab to use with my students to teach them the scientific method. The students will have science fair project to do at the end of the year and I wanted to take them step by step through the process so that they will know exactly what to do for their projects.
I found a gummy bear science lab by Sue at Science for Kids: Adventures of an Elementary School Science Teacher. It is an awesome lab, but I wanted my students to have a more complex scientific method model to work with. Click the image below to download the lab worksheets I created for this activity.
I gave my students the question we were going to test: What solution will make the gummy bear increase its mass and length the most? Next, they came up with their hypothesis. Since we had not gotten to our physical science unit yet, I explained was a solution was. We then brainstormed ideas about what solutions they wanted to test. They decided to test sugar water, salt water, vinegar and water, lemon juice and water, food coloring and water, rubbing alcohol and water, and soda and water.
We then discussed what materials we would need to conduct the lab (we added things as we did the lab and saw that additional things were needed). Next we discussed the control (plain water) and the variables. They listed the dependent variable (mass and length of gummy bear), the independent variable (the solute - what was added to the cup of water) and the constants (amount of water, amount of solute, and time the gummy bear will be in the solution)
We filled in the procedure as we did the lab. The students worked in group of 3 or 4. The first thing we did was find the mass and length of the gummy bears.
The students measured out 50 ml of water to put in each cup.
They then added the liquid/solid to create their solutions. We put in 1 T of each of the liquids and we added sugar and salt to the water until it was saturated. Make sure that the salt solution has reached its saturation point. The groups that didn't add enough salt didn't see the same results as the groups that did.
The students then added the gummy bears to the solutions and we let them sit overnight.
The next day, the students found the mass and length of the gummy bears after their overnight soak in the solutions.
They then recorded the information on their lab sheets.
This was the first time I had done this lab and it surprised me that the gummy bears grew so much.
Once the data was collected on the lab sheets, we transferred the data to a chart that the students added to their science journals. Most groups found that the vinegar, lemons, and food coloring made the gummy bears gain the most mass.
They finished the lab by writing down their conclusions on the lab sheet. If you didn't download the lab sheets for this lesson, you can click this link to download them now. Thank you to Laura Candler for allowing me to do a guest post on her blog!
Amy Alvis lives in Indianapolis, Indiana and teaches 5th and 6th grade math, science, and social studies. She is the creator of the blog Math, Science, and Social Studies .. Oh, My! You can find more free activities for these subject areas by visiting her blog.