Monday, January 26, 2015

To The Laboratory - Rock Candy Experiment

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Page for details.

We had tons of fun with the Poppins Book Nook blog series last year and we will be continuing that fun all throughout 2015. This month's theme was, "To The Lab" Keep reading to learn more about the book we read and recipe we made. There is also a giveaway is at the end of the post! To check out all of our past Poppins Book Nook posts click here.

This month we decided to read a book from our favorite picture book science series - The Magic School Bus. The Magic School Bus and The Science Fair Expedition is one of my favorite Magic School Bus books because it dives into what science is and how scientists think and work. But that's not all. This book also incorporates some fun history and geography facts too...I love it when books cover multiple subjects. During the fieldtrip Ms. Friz travels back in time with the class to some far away countries to meet some very famous scientists including Galileo, Issac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Pierre and Marie Currie, Albert Einstein and more. Our science experiment (see below) was inspired by the Curie's.

More about the book:
What do Galileo, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, and Albert Einstein have in common? They've all ridden on the Magic School Bus, of course!

Ms. Frizzle is back in action and she has a mission: her students need science fair projects - and fast. What better way to get ideas than to learn from some of the all-time greats? The class heads to the Walkerville Science Museum to see the exhibit on GREAT SCIENTISTS THROUGH THE AGES, where, suddenly, Galileo comes to life! He is about to make a great discovery, but he needs a ride home. Thank goodness Ms. Frizzle knows the way!

This experiment is a safe way to learn how the Curie's separated Radium from pitchblende. The Curies boiled pitchblende and then let it cool. Afterwards they skimmed crystals off the top and tested them for radioactivity. Then they saved the radioactive crystals and did it all over again.

To make rock candy you follow very similar steps....

  • A wooden skewer (you can also use a clean wooden chopstick)
  • A clothespin
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2-3 cups of sugar
  • A tall narrow glass/jar or small plastic cups
  • Food coloring
  • Flavoring (like vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon)
**Requires adults supervision since a stove will be used!


  1. Clip the wooden skewer into the clothespin so that it hangs down inside the glass and is about 1 inch  from the bottom of the glass or cup (see photo below). Remove the skewer and clothespin and set them aside for now.
  2. Pour the water into a pan and bring it to boil.
  3. Pour about 1/4 cup of sugar into the boiling water, and stir it until it dissolves.
  4. Keep adding more sugar, each time stirring it until it dissolves and until no more will dissolve. This takes a little bit of time and patience and it will take longer for the sugar to dissolve each time. Be sure you don't give up too soon. Once no more sugar will dissolve, remove it from heat and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes.
  5. While it is cooling, dip half of the skewer in the sugar solution and then roll it in some sugar to jump start the crystal growth. If you do this, be sure to let the skewer cool completely so that sugar crystals do not fall off when you place it back in the glass.
  6. Also while you are waiting add some food coloring and flavoring to the jar/cup (see photo below).
  7. Carefully pour the sugar solution into the jar/cup almost to the top. Then submerge the skewer back into the glass making sure that it is hanging straight down the middle without touching the sides.
  8. Allow the jar/cup to fully cool and put it someplace where it will not be disturbed (if it gets disturbed by impatient children it will not work correctly).
  9. Now wait patiently. The sugar crystals will grow over the next 2-7 days.
  10. For best results you will want to carefully remove the skewer and place it into a fresh cup around day 2. Pour the liquid from the first cup into the new cup. The reason for this is that the crystals can start to build up too much around the bottom and the sides keeping it from growing on the skewer. For little rock candy pieces (like you see in the photo) scrap the sides and bottom of the first cup, then let the pieces dry on a plastic or glass plate.
  11. After about 4-7 days you can remove your skewer and you should have some nice crystal growth and a yummy rock candy lollipop treat.
How it works?
By mixing the water and sugar together you make a SUPER saturated solution. This means that the water can only hold the sugar if they are both very hot. As the water cools the sugar "comes out" of the solution and turns back into sugar crystals that show up on the skewer and sides of the jar/glass. 

Free Science Experiment Journal Page:
To enhance science experiments and introduce the scientific method to children I created this science experiment journal page. Children can write or draw their answers. Get yours here for FREE.

Here is a list of the wonderful bloggers participating in the Poppins Book Nook be sure to visit them for more fun ideas:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in Gods Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ My Bright Firefly ~A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~Where Imagination Grows ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A  Peace  of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am  ~ Simple Living Mama

Ultimate Gruffalo Giveaway!
Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win the Ultimate Gruffalo Giveaway. The winner will enjoy twice the magical enchantment in the double feature of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child! The beautifully animated films based on the best-selling books are now together on DVD from NCircle Entertainment! And the fun doesn’t stop there as they will also win a storybook of the Gruffalo and a Gruffalo themed plush too!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook and this month’s prize bundle will be sent to the winner directly from this month’s sponsor NCircle Entertainment. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here

Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! Please check the follow up box so you can receive my replies.

Designed By: Wacky Jacqui's Designs