Color Mixing Gobstoppers (Candy Science)

Gobstopper candies are known for their colors, but what would happen if they were dissolved in water?

Hard candies are known for their bright colors, delicious tastes, as well as having a ton of sugar. While munching on a handful of candy every once in a while can be a tasty treat, we like conducting experiments with them, too! We especially love Gobstoppers. They have layers of colors that, when they dissolve into water, do something very peculiar…

Experiment

1

Place Gobstoppers (separate the colors into like groups) against the outside rim of a plate. They should be about equal distances from each other.

2

Add enough ROOM TEMPERATURE water to cover the bottom half of the candy.

3

Now, it is time to wait. Watch carefully and note the changes that you see taking place to each of the candies.

How Does It Work

The surprise here is that the Gobstopper colors don’t initially mix in the water. Instead, they run into each other and stop. In addition to the non-mixing colors, you’ll notice that the colors change during the dissolving process. This is because each Gobstopper is comprised of four different colors.

Take It Further

Take your learning and observations just a little bit further… let the Gobstoppers sit in the plate overnight. What happens? Do the colors stay separated or do they eventually mix? Why do you think this happens?

Science Fair Connection

Performing this dissolving candy experiment is pretty cool, but it isn’t a science fair project, yet. You can create a science fair project by identifying a variable, or something that changes, in this experiment. Let’s take a look at some of the variable options that might work:

• How do things change if you use hot or cold water, instead of room temperature water?
• What happens if you completely cover the Gobstoppers with water? Compare the results.
• What happens if you use other liquids like distilled water, vegetable oil, soda, salt water, milk, or juices?
• How does adding to or reducing the number of Gobstoppers of each color change the outcome? What about changing the size of the dish used?

Those are just some ideas, but you aren’t limited to them! Try coming up with different ideas of variables and give them a try. Remember, you can only change one thing at a time. If you are testing the temperature of water make sure that the other factors are remaining the same!