Gummy bear osmosis : Fizzics Education

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Gummy bear osmosis

Gummy bear osmosis

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • A packet of gummy bears
  • Salt
  • At least two bowls
  • Water
  • Optional; sugar, stopwatch and either measuring scales or a ruler

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A packet of gummy bears bext two white bowls, a glass of water and a salt container
1 Pouring water into a bowl

Pour the same amount of water into each of your bowls. You’ll want enough water to be able to immerse your gummy bears in this activity.

2 Pouring salt into a bowl of water

Add salt to one of your bowls of water and leave the other with just plain water. You could also make another bowl with sugar added to it too as an extra experimental test.

3 Placing a red gummy bear into a bowl

Place a gummy bear into each of the bowls. Keep a gummy bear aside as a control for measuring against later. Now it’s time to wait!

4 Swollen red gummy bear in a bowl of water

Over time you’ll find that one of your gummy bears will start to swell. How big can the gummy bear get? That’s up to you to find out!

5 Swollen gummy bear vs normal gummy bear in a child's hand

Look at the difference! Do you know why this worked? Read below!

6 A television screen showing a distance educator running science experiment with a bell jar, vacuum pump and a cup of water. There is an inset of a remote class on the screen and a video conference camera on top of the television.
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What is happening?

The gummy bear experiment is all about osmosis. This is the process where water will move into areas where there is less water, i.e. from a dilute solution to a more concentrated solution. The gummy bear is semi-permeable to water (i.e it can let water molecules into it but not larger molecules), which means the water was able to move into the gummy bear.

This process happened much faster where the gummy bear was in pure water, as the water concentration difference between pure water and the gummy bear was the greatest. The gummy bear in the saltwater didn’t swell as quickly as the water concentration difference between the saltwater and the gummy bear was less different. We call this difference a concentration gradient. The gummy bear in the saltwater didn’t get as large either as the water stopped moving into the gummy bear once the water concentration in the gummy bear and the saltwater became the same.

Variables to test

  • Try differing amounts of salt or sugar in the water. Can you predict the change in size as the salt or sugar concentration in the water increases?
  • What happens if you try hot, warm and cold water?
  • Does the colour of the gummy bear matter?

More on variable testing here

Learn more!

Comments

4 thoughts on “Gummy bear osmosis

  1. Like the one on Osmosis and sinking the boat. Simple and easy for Content Language Integrated Learning in elementary school of Taiwan.

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