Tag Archives: osmosis

Gummy Bear Science – Osmosis in Action

Gummy bear science  osmosis fun for elementary kids

Last week we discovered that gummy bears don’t dissolve, but instead get bigger when you leave them in water.

This week we decided to extend our gummy bear science lab see what happens when you leave them for a bit longer.

J(8) wondered if the same would happen with jelly babies (a popular British sweet, a bit like gummy bears but with a harder outside).


Gummy bears

Jelly babies


Glass or jar

Refrigerator, if you want to taste test

What we did

We placed our gummy bears and jelly babies in separate glasses of water and left them for a week (but twenty-four hours would do). We put them in the fridge, to minimise bacterial growth, in anticipation of a taste test.

What happened

We used our senses to examine our gummy bears and jelly babies.

Gummy bear osmosis experiment
We could SEE that the gummy bears had become three or four times bigger and become more translucent


elementary homeschool science
They FELT “squidgy” and “gooey”


elementary osmosis demonstration
They didn’t TASTE good at all!
The jelly babies also expanded
elementary homeschool science - osmosis
… but their hard outside layer split

Gummy bear science

Gummy bears and jelly babies contain water with lots of other things dissolved in a concentrated solution.

The water in the glass flows through the gummy bear’s semi-permeable membranes. This flow (diffusion) of water from a region of low concentration of solute to a high concentration is called osmosis.

The sweets became more translucent partly because the colouring had to go further in the larger sweet, and maybe partly because some of the colouring dissolved in the water.

Gummy bear and jelly baby ingredients
We were intrigued by some of the gummy bear (right) and jelly baby (left) ingredients

In the case of the jelly baby, we hypothesised that although water can pass through the (sugar?) shell, the outside of the jelly baby is unable to absorb water as fast as the inside, causing it to crack.

More fun with osmosis and jelly babies

We also came across this exciting jelly baby oxidisation experiment – screaming jelly babies. Sadly not one to try at home!

Did you know that as well as being one of Doctor Who’s favourite snacks, jelly babies were originally called “peace babies” as they were launched in 1918 to mark the end of World War I?

And as for osmosis, I can’t believe we’ve been homeschooling for three years and we’ve never done the celery or carnation experiments?! Guess what we’ll be trying next…

Science Sunday


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...