Valentines Day Candy Science Experiments

It’s Valentines week – love is in the air and there is candy flowing everywhere. What are you going to do with all of the candy your child brings home on Thursday afternoon? Don’t eat it…experiment with it.


Here are a few experiments shown in the video –

The Ups and Downs of a Relationship – Candy Heart Soda Dance

  • Fill a clear glass with 7-Up, Sprite or other carbonated drink.
  • Drop a handful of candy conversation hearts into the soda.
  • Watch the hearts dance up and down in the carbonation.

The carbon dioxide picks them up and throws them to the top of the glass. When they reach the top, the bubbles burst and the candy works its way down again.


Skittles and M&M’s Letter Float

  • Fill a clear glass or bowl half way with water.
  • Drop a few M&M’s or Skittles into the water.
  • Wait about 10-20 minutes to let the candy soak.

How Does This Work?

The “M” and “S” letters on M&M’s and Skittles are printed in edible white ink. The ink won’t dissolve in water. When the candy shell dissolves, the letters peel off and float to the top.

(This experiment was originally done on

Pop Rocks Expander

  • Pour an entire packet of Pop Rocks into a balloon.
  • Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the opening of a bottle of soda. Carefully to avoid the Pop Rocks from spilling into the soda.
  • When it’s secure, dump the balloon over and empty the Pop Rocks into the soda.
The secret behind the famous “popping” of Pop Rocks candy is pressurized carbon dioxide gas. Each of the tiny little candy pebbles contains a small amount of the gas. These tiny carbon dioxide bubbles make the popping sound you hear when they burst free from their candy shells.

Gobstoppers or Skittles Color Mix

  • Fill a petri dish with enough water to cover the bottom.
  • Drop a Gobstopper of different color along each side so that they are across from each other and evenly spaced.
  • Wait and observe.

Science-Based Inquiry Tests

Try this experiment with other dyed candies, like M&M’s Skittles, Lifesavers. Do they all work the same?

Try it with different liquids, like milk, vinegar or soda. Do the colors spread the same?

Now try putting two Gobstoppers in a petri dish, then three. What happens?

Finally, test different temperatures in the water. What happens to the dissolve rate in cold water or hot?

How Does It Work?
The surprise here is that the Gobstopper colors don’t actually mix together in the dish. Instead, they run into each other and stop. As the candies dissolve, the concentric layers of color disperse into the surrounding water but adjoining colors do not readily mix to form new colors. This is because a thin layer of food-grade wax surrounds each color layer and inhibits mixing. Further, the colored water forms clearly defined shapes in the dish and can change color over time. This is because each Gobstopper is comprised of different layers of colors (food dyes). They’re pretty tasty and, in this case, pretty and tasty!

Gobstoppers® is a registered trademark of NESTLÉ® USA.

13 replies
  1. Melissa Alani
    Melissa Alani says:

    My daughters had a blast performing the Rock Pop Expander! I used the experiment to expand on the 5 senses for my Kindergartner and preschooler.
    Thank you for blogging!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] balloon and watch the balloons blow up from the gas released by the mixture of the candy and soda. You can find the instructions at Steve Spangler Science. If you don’t have pop or pop rocks at hand, there’s some other fun science experiments you can […]

  2. […] interesting, candy-based experiment ideas.  Set up scientific stations or hold a demonstration. Steve Spangler Science has great ideas for simple experiments using candy, water, carbonated drinks and vinegar, and […]

  3. […] Here’s the deal: the edible ink they use to print on the candy is not water soluble. As the candy shell underneath dissolves, the letters separate and float in the water. More details–as well as a few other moderately amusing candy experiments–can be found on Steve Spangler’s blog. […]

  4. […] Steve Spangler Science provides four different experiments with popular candy given during Valentine’s day, from candy hearts to pop rocks to M&Ms. […]

  5. […] Steve Spangler Science provides four different experiments with popular candy given during Valentine’s day, from candy hearts to pop rocks to M&Ms. […]

  6. […] Valentine’s Day Candy Science Experiments from Steve Spangler’s Blog […]

  7. […] you put M&M’s or Skittles in warm water, after a few minutes the letters float right off. The color’s gone, too, and you’re left with all-white […]

  8. […] 18. Steve Spangler’s Blog: Emmy-award-winning “teacher’s teacher” Steve Spangler may be best known as the man who taught us how to make a bottle of soda explode by using Mentos as the secret ingredient. While his crazy experiments are exciting to watch and replicate in the classroom, he also offers great science information in his blog which is sure to engage science enthusiasts of all ages. Highlight: Valentines Day Candy Science Experiments […]

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