Raejean Roberts loves to spend time with her family celebrating life! She's always looking for a way to turn an everyday event into a party. You can read more of her adventures on her personal blog Easy as PIE.

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M&M Science

Do you want to keep your children’s brains from turning to mush this summer?  How about a sweet science experiment to get them thinking and keep them off the couch?  You can immediately stop their groaning about science by telling them this experiment involves M & M’s.

Put 6 different colors of M&M’s in a glass with a small amount of water. Stir around until the color comes off. Note that the water will be all one color – usually something grayish. Spoon out the M&M remains.  These didn’t look very tasty, so I tossed them down the sink.  I did give the kids a handful of M&M’s for their eating enjoyment.  Somehow it helped them pay attention.

Point out that the colors seem to have all blended together – the bright colors seem to have disappeared. Now I like M&M’s, but this “soup” doesn’t look very appetizing!

Take a coffee filter (or a paper towel) and cut a strip long enough to reach down into the water. You can staple the top edge to make a loop that you can hang from a pencil. Make sure the paper reaches down to touch the water.   Leave it overnight, the various colors will separate on the paper, showing that they really didn’t disappear into a single color.

Here’s the science behind it:

Because molecules in ink or the colored coating on M&M’s have different characteristics, such as size and solubility, they travel at different speeds when pulled along a piece of paper by a solvent (the water).  The water soluble colors behave differently due to their molecules, and separate into a sort of “rainbow” of colors.

Who knew that color molecules travel at different speeds or that science could be so yummy?

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