The past few weeks, my youngest has been doing a unit on “Winter.” Today, I want to share one of the fun, hands-on projects she did – Growing Sugar Crystals (ie. rock candy!!). I’ve seen this mentioned before, but this was the first time we actually did it! This is a project that can be done with things you have around the house. That’s always a plus, right?!!
What you’ll need:
saucepan, wooden spoon, measuring cups, sugar, water, food coloring, wooden meat skewers
- Pour 3/4 cup of water in a pan and add 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
- Place the pan on the stove on medium-high. Stir occasionally. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat.
- Add more sugar one spoonful at a time.
- Stop when the sugar will no longer dissolve. (See the sugar granules at the bottom of the pan, below?)
- Stick your wooden skewer into the sugar water mixture.
- Pour some sugar over the skewer (to help start your crystals growing), set aside for just a second.
- Pour the sugar water mixture into two or three small glass cups. Add food coloring and mix well.
- Place skewers into your cups and set them aside for about 7 days. You might want to drape some Glad wrap over the top lightly to keep anything unwanted from getting into the sugar-water mixture.After about 7 days, we had some pretty impressive looking crystals.
While this project was off to the side doing its thing, we talked about the seasons, Earth’s axis, the Arctic and Antarctica. Tomorrow I’ll share a little about those!
Do you like STEM projects?
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): If you are excited to get your kids doing some STEM projects, here are some fun activities we’ve done over the years:
- Chemistry Experiments for Kids These are some fun chemistry experiments that we did. These are the projects we did when ED and I read through pre-Level 1 Chemistry, Real Science for Kids (affiliate link). She really enjoyed the book. (She was 7 yrs old last year). The packet (pictured below) is free to print out!
- 7 Engineering Activities for Kids – These are quick engineering challenges you can do with your kids just to change things up and get them engaged. They are great with any age!
- Engineering Activities for Kids – This is another post with other activities we did!
- Critical Thinking Activities – This post includes some of the math challenges my kids have loved!! We brought out some math circle challenges and the kids would BEG for more! In fact, now that I think about it I should bring out that book again!
- Do you all know about the Free Engineering Units? Our family has used a number of these and they are truly wonderful. They might be really fun for summertime… there are units on bubbles, rockets, and much more! They have free units for Grades 3-5 and for Grades 6-8.
- STEM: Electricity and Circuits Unit – The kids had an amazing time with this unit learning about electricity, electrons, amps, ohms, volts, batteries, electrical symbols (and how to draw their own simple electrical schematics) simple and parallel circuits… while doing a half-dozen hands-on projects!
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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.