Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Floating S Experiment

I am a huge science nerd! Growing up I was led to believe that because math was difficult to me, science would be as well. I avoided science like the plague. When finally, I was forced to get my lab science credits in college I was shocked to find that not only was I good at science but that I loved it. Science is such a great subject for children because it is all about exploration, wonder, manipulation, and amazement. It ties in so nicely to the concept of being playful! Those are all things I want to encourage with my boys and students, so I was more than tickled pink to find this amazing website ( that is chocked full of science centers and experiments. This website has so many terrific ideas that my head is literally spinning! One particular experiment caught my eye because it uses Skittles. Skittles are "A's" favorite candy, but I have also read it is the worst candy for people on the market (healthwise). This being the case the only time "A" gets Skittles is as a special treat from Grandpa, and most certainly not from me. As a special treat I thought I would ease up a bit and do a Skittle science experiment and give him a few extra to eat-boy was he blown away!

The Floating S experiment, as it is called at the PreKinders website, is super easy to do and hardly any cost at all. The only materials you need is three different color Skittles placed S face up in a white disposable bowl (found in picnic area of supermarket) and a class of water. Place the skittles around the edge with some space between the three (think like a triangle). Pour enough water to cover the Skittles. Then observe. It is important to have the experiment take place where it is not shaky. The website has a printable to record observations too.

Some cool observations:
  • The colors bled in an outer ring. When the colors met each other I thought they would start to mix (the red would meet the yellow and start to form orange). This didn't happen! The colors stopped when they met and decided to travel inwards.
  • The red  color traveled the fastest, then the green, and the yellow was the slowest.
  • The white S floated to the top. You have to observe it quick because the S starts to break down to white floating stringy stuff. 
"A's" prediction, experiment observations and picture of what he saw happen
At the end the scientist was rewarded with some of his favorite candy (NO-not the boxful but a handful)


  1. That sounds so cool! Who knew you could do a science experiment with Skittles, of all things?!? I just added "visit" to my list of things to do tomorrow. Thanks for sharing it AND the amazing activity!

  2. The science section is so amazing. I am really excited to try the ramp science experiment too.

  3. That is a great science experiment that would work well in art classes! I am going to feature this on The Sunday SHowcase this week!