Gummy Bear Bathtime

Activity Time: 8 hours
Recommended Grades: 1 - 8
Objective: Investigate osmosis at home! Younger scientists may need adult assistance.

  • Two containers that each fit at least 1 cup of liquid
  • ½ cup measuring cup
  • 1 measuring teaspoon
  • 3 gummy bears
  • 1 cup of water
  • Ruler
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Take the two empty containers and place ½ cup of water in each container.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to only ONE container, and stir well.
  3. Place one gummy bear in each of the containers.
  4. Leave the gummy bears to sit for eight hours or more.
  5. What happened to the gummy bears?

Water can move from an area with a low amount of dissolved stuff to an area with a higher amount of dissolved stuff. This process is called osmosis. How does this happen? Well the stuff in the water that has dissolved is known as a solute. Solutes are simply molecules that have dissolved in a solution.

For our experiment, salt is our solute. There are also solutes in the gummy bear. The more solutes we add, the higher the solute concentration. As we see with the gummy bears, they have grown over time. Water has moved into them by osmosis. However, less water should have flowed into the gummy bear in the salt water solution since there was solute in the water as well as in the bear. Thus, the gummy bear should have grown more in the plain water than in the salt water.

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