Gummy Bear Osmosis
Hosted by: UT Austin Women in Natural Sciences
Visit our Booth: Saturday, February 27, 2021, 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Recommended Grades: 5th, 6th, 7th
The Challenge: Learn about osmosis by observing how water moves in and out of gummy bears! In this experiment, you will compare the sizes of gummy bears that were soaked in tap water and saltwater to determine what makes water move!
Recommended Materials: 2 bowls, Water, Salt, Different colored gummy bears
- Boil a cup of water and slowly add salt until no more salt will dissolve in the boiling water (remember to be careful when dealing with hot liquids!).
- Cool the water in the refrigerator.
- Once it is cooled, fill one bowl full of saltwater. Fill the other bowl with tap water.
- Pick out a few gummy bears of roughly equal size and place an equal amount in each of the two bowls. To help visualize this, we recommend putting the gummy bears of the same color in one bowl and filling the other bowl with gummy bears of another color.
- Let the gummy bears soak for several hours (we suggest starting this in the evening and then looking at them the next day) and make predictions about what will happen to the gummy bears in each bowl.
- Check on your gummy bears the next day and see if your predictions were correct!
How does this activity connect to STEM and today's Girl Day theme of Designing for Communities, People, and Animals? Osmosis is the process through which really salty or sugary solutions mix with nonsalty or non-sugary solutions to become balanced. The gummy bears are full of sugar so when they are placed in tap water, the water moves into the gummy bear to try to balance out with the sugar and that's why the gummy bear grew! In the bowl of saltwater, we tried to balance the salt in the water with the amount of sugar in the gummy bear so a little bit of water moved into the gummy bear but not as much as the plain water. This helps us understand how water moves around in an environment, which aids our ability to design safe communities for people!
Take a look at this video to get an idea of the experiment. Good luck learning about osmosis and the movement of water!
Women in Natural Sciences at UT Austin
The Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) program at the College of Natural Sciences is committed to creating a network of women pursuing a career in the sciences in order to help them achieve their academic and personal goals.
The goal of WINS is to help establish the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin as a leader in the cultivation, recruitment, retention, and ultimate success of women in the sciences. By encouraging the love of science in school-aged girls and young women, and by supporting young women through their undergraduate studies, WINS aims to create a community of women scholars focused on scientific achievement at the university and beyond.