Science Fair Project: Which Chocolate Melts Faster?

Updated on June 13, 2017
VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne is an educator and mom of 5. Her Science Fair articles are based on her experience helping her children do their projects.

Easy, Fun Experiment You Can Eat!

My first-grade daughter Mollie wanted a fun science experiment using candy, so we came up with the question "Which Chocolate Melts the Fastest?" This experiment can be used by older children if they do more research about why chocolate melts at different rates. For younger kids like Mollie, it is all right to let the experiment results be mostly based on what they observed and their ideas about why it happened that way.

We covered a lot of ground in her experiment, testing wrapped or unwrapped, different kinds of chocolate and also whether added ingredients made a difference. The choices we made were based on her own ideas and what we already had around the house. You could use just one of these variables in your experiment (such as wrapped and unwrapped, or different kinds of wrappers on the same chocolate). See some of the videos below for ideas.

Step by Step

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Finished boardStep One: Put groups of similar candies on a white paper towel.Step 2: Put the candy groups about 2 inches away from a 60 watt light bulb.Step 3: Test the candy every minute by touching it with my finger to see if it is melted. For trial 1, I used a variety of Hershey's small wrapped bars.Trial 2: I used unwrapped Hershey's bars.Trial 3: I used different kinds of Hershey's kisses and other smaller candies. (You don't have to do 3 trials but it gives you more candy to eat!)Step 4: Make a tally of how many minutes it takes for each candy to melt.Step 5: Write down your results and conclusions!Eat the chocolate! Your family may want to help!
Finished board
Finished board | Source
Step One: Put groups of similar candies on a white paper towel.
Step One: Put groups of similar candies on a white paper towel. | Source
Step 2: Put the candy groups about 2 inches away from a 60 watt light bulb.
Step 2: Put the candy groups about 2 inches away from a 60 watt light bulb. | Source
Step 3: Test the candy every minute by touching it with my finger to see if it is melted. For trial 1, I used a variety of Hershey's small wrapped bars.
Step 3: Test the candy every minute by touching it with my finger to see if it is melted. For trial 1, I used a variety of Hershey's small wrapped bars. | Source
Trial 2: I used unwrapped Hershey's bars.
Trial 2: I used unwrapped Hershey's bars. | Source
Trial 3: I used different kinds of Hershey's kisses and other smaller candies. (You don't have to do 3 trials but it gives you more candy to eat!)
Trial 3: I used different kinds of Hershey's kisses and other smaller candies. (You don't have to do 3 trials but it gives you more candy to eat!) | Source
Step 4: Make a tally of how many minutes it takes for each candy to melt.
Step 4: Make a tally of how many minutes it takes for each candy to melt. | Source
Step 5: Write down your results and conclusions!
Step 5: Write down your results and conclusions! | Source
Eat the chocolate! Your family may want to help!
Eat the chocolate! Your family may want to help! | Source

Instructions

In writing up our experiments, we usually use notebook paper as we work. Depending on the age of the child, either a parent will keep notes, the child will take notes, or we will do a combination of the two. However, we are always careful that the notebook is written in the child's own words. Children are not always aware of the processes of a science experiment, so parents do need to help prompt them to go through all the steps in order:

6 Steps

  1. Question: what you are going to ask.
  2. Hypothesis: your guess about the results.
  3. Procedures: your plan for doing the experiment.
  4. Materials and Equipment: everything you need to do the experiment.
  5. Results and Data: what happens in your experiment, usually written in the form of a chart.
  6. Conclusion: compare your results with your hypothesis. Were you right or not? What do you think caused the results you got? If you were to do the experiment again, what might you change?

Student Sample Project

Question

I want to test different kinds of small chocolate candies to find out which kind melts the fastest. I will test these differences:

  • wrapped vs. unwrapped
  • rectangle bar vs. Kiss shape
  • big vs. little
  • plain chocolate vs. chocolate mixed with other ingredients
  • different kinds of chocolate like milk, special dark and white

Hypothesis

  1. I think that candies in wrappers will melt first because I think the wrapper heats up.
  2. I think that kisses will melt faster than bars.
  3. I think that candies with a candy coating like M&Ms will melt slower than a candy without coating.
  4. I think that the smaller M&Ms will melt faster than big M&Ms.I think the 4 bar candies will melt differently because they have different ingredients. I think the Kisses will melt in this order: original, caramel, then Hugs.

Materials and Equipment

1. Chocolate Candy:

  • Hershey's Miniature Bars (Krackel, Hershey's, Mr. Goodbar, Special Dark)
  • Hershey's Kisses (milk chocolate, caramel, and Hugs)
  • M & Ms (miniature and regular)
  • Junior Mint
  • Wilton white chocolate candy coating chips

2. White Paper Towels

3. Lamp with 60-watt bulb

4. Paper and pencil for taking notes

Procedures

  1. I will put groups of similar candy on a white paper towel.
  2. I will put the candy groups about 2 inches away from a 60-watt bulb.
  3. I will test the candy every minute by touching it with my finger to see if it is melted.
  4. I will make a tally of how many minutes it takes for each one to melt. I will also make notes on how it looks as it melts.
  5. I will eat the melted candy!

Results and Data Table

Candy
minutes to melt, wrapped or covered with foil
minutes to melt, unwrapped
Notes on how it melted
Krackle
 
 
 
Special Dark
 
 
 
Mr. Goodbar
 
 
 
Hershey's
 
 
 
Kiss
 
 
 
Caramel Kiss
 
 
 
Hugs
 
 
 
Big M & M
 
 
 
Mini M & M
 
 
 
Junior Mint
 
 
 
Wilton White Chocolate
 
 
 

Conclusion

I was right that size, shape, wrapping, and coating make a difference in the way the chocolate melts, but I didn't always guess right about what would make the candy melt the slowest. I thought the wrapped candy would melt faster, but it didn't. The wrapped candy lasted about twice as long before melting as the unwrapped candy. So I guess that wrapping the candy makes it melt more slowly.

I was right that smaller candies melted more quickly. The small M&M only took 2 minutes to melt, but the bigger M&M lasted 5 minutes. All of the unwrapped, smaller candies did not last as long as the bars or the Kisses. I was surprised that the big M&M lasted as long as the Caramel Kiss since the Kiss is much bigger. I guess the coating is like a wrapper.

I was right that the different kinds of chocolate bars melted differently, but I was surprised that the dark chocolate took so long to melt. I was also surprised that the regular Kiss took longer than the Hugs and caramel.

Science Fair Board Tips

When it comes time to put the board together, we type up the notebook on the computer. Depending on the age of the child, we sometimes have the child:


  • Do all of the typing (usually 5th on up).
  • Do part of the typing (2nd to 4th).
  • Dictate it to us (K to 2nd).


However, but parents need to make a judgment call on this based on the abilities of their child and their frustration level.

Even at the high school science fairs, it is generally permissible for parents to do typing and charts. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Make the fonts large and readable.
  2. You can use a color for the fonts to match the board or topic.
  3. Print out on cardstock rather than paper for a neater, wrinkle-free board.
  4. Make a title using a banner font in Word, or buy 2-3 inch letters.
  5. Use pictures of the experiment for decorating and to illustrate.
  6. Have the child draw pictures for the board.
  7. Decorate with something used in the experiment like the candy wrappers.

About Us

How we developed our experiment ideas: All of the experiments which I publish are original projects developed by me (teacher and mom of 5) and my husband (biology professor and dad of 5). All of our projects have been done with our own children, so we have worked out the pitfalls and adjusted our instructions to give you the benefit of our experience. We always include step by step instructions, photos, and videos to help you learn more about the science you are investigating. Each project is designed to be scientifically accurate as well as fun to do.

The goal for our experiments: Our children have regularly done well at the school, region and state science fairs in Texas, but our main goal is to help kids to enjoy science and consider a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career.

Be sure to cite your sources: You are welcome to use any of our project ideas in your science fair project, but you will need to include the information about this website in your bibliography along with any of the videos you might use.

Questions & Answers

  • How long does the chocolate melting science fair project take?

    Doing the project took one evening. It took a Saturday for my kids to type up the results and make their board.

  • How many times have you done this science project?

    We only did this project once for a science fair experiment. After she did this experiment, my daughter got interested in some other candy experiments. Here are some of the ones we did:

    1. Which chocolate chip tastes best?https://owlcation.com/academia/Science-Fair-Projec...

    2. Skittles Science Fair Project Instructions: https://owlcation.com/stem/Skittles-Science-Fair-P...

    3. Which Chewing Gum Lasts the Longest? https://wehavekids.com/education/Science-Fair-Proj...

  • How long did the chocolate melting science project take?

    The chocolate melting experiment time takes a few hours. We did it in one evening. However, we had gathered all of the materials ahead of time and had written out the project hypothesis, materials, procedure and data table. It took another 4-6 hour or so to type up the project, print it out, get the pictures printed, make and print the title and put the board together.

  • Can you do two trials in a science fair project, or does it have to be three?

    You can do as many or as few trials as you want. Generally, the experimental data is better with more trials, so your project will be stronger. This particular project doesn't take very long to do, so three trials shouldn't be too hard. If you are doing a plant growing project, you may only have time for one or two trials, though.

  • Which grade levels could do this science fair project?

    I think this science project is best for lower primary and grades K-4th.

Comments

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    • profile image

      jeff 

      2 months ago

      This project is so easy to do and its so fast to do.

    • profile image

      Carlos 

      3 months ago

      I love this project and idea

    • profile image

      Tanya 

      4 months ago

      I love this project! It is so creative and it doesn't even take that long! I think it's an amazing project. Thank you so much for helping me out for my science fair. ( I have to compete because I'm on the robotics team and I've never done a science fair before and this helped me so much) THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      zainab 

      4 months ago

      i love the science experiment its great and I'm in 5th grade and I'm doing it because it was made by very nice and intelligent people.

    • profile image

      Natalia 

      5 months ago

      I love this project its so creative

    • profile image

      Casey 

      5 months ago

      nice project

    • profile image

      Malak 

      8 months ago

      I like this project I did this project and I won first place in MS#7 school.

    • profile image

      Anonomys 

      9 months ago

      I think the chocolate bars in the middle melted fastest because they were closer to light but then you made all of them go in the middle of the light so the amount of light is equal. Amazing Job! I myself am thinking about doing this project for my science fair.

    • profile image

      dali1234 

      9 months ago

      i like this project

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      14 months ago from United States

      Hi, Lupita. I'm glad you enjoyed doing the project. Different brands and sizes of chocolate might melt differently. You'll probably have to repeat the experiment (something real scientists do all the time) to find out which of your candies melts next. However, the good news is that you will have lots more chocolate to eat!

    • profile image

      lupita 

      14 months ago

      Hi I started to read you blog and I loved so I saw that it said that your daughter did the project which chocolate melts the fastest I have a question I'm also doing that and the dark chocolate melted first then the other one but then my teacher said it was time to go to lunch so I had to turn off the lamp and I did so it did not melt first the dark chocolate yes I have the chocolate that are cookies N cream and mil chocolate and special dark

    • profile image

      T Dog 

      15 months ago

      i did it its so fun

    • profile image

      andre 

      16 months ago

      Thank you you got me an A+

    • profile image

      jhoana 

      16 months ago

      a really good project

    • profile image

      Alexander 

      17 months ago

      I am going to do this project but i need to know safety concerns

    • profile image

      MrsGilham 

      18 months ago

      I will definitely choose this for my daughter.

    • profile image

      Kristopher caires 

      20 months ago

      That's my project for our school science fair

    • profile image

      keionna donaldson 

      21 months ago

      i was doing this as a science fair project and didnt know what to do so i found this wow thank you

    • profile image

      Major Gaffney contestant 

      22 months ago

      Thanks for your great idea lord knows i was going to need some help

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      2 years ago from United States

      Which Brand of Chocolate Bar Melts Fastest in Sunlight?

    • profile image

      Andy 

      2 years ago

      I need a name for science project is going to be about which brand of chocolate bar melts the fastest in the sun? I need a title because I have no idea what to name it.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      3 years ago from United States

      Different kinds of chocolate chips plus some different candy bars and kisses. We used candy we had around the house.

    • profile image

      jeff henderson 

      3 years ago

      this is nice i guess but what chalclate did u use

    • profile image

      Deep nutts 

      3 years ago

      This is a great magazine

    • profile image

      addy 

      3 years ago

      It gives such good advice for project's

    • profile image

      shenyah 

      3 years ago

      I like this idea

    • profile image

      kristen 

      3 years ago

      white chocolate will melt the fastest because it has more milk than the other chocolates

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      3 years ago from United States

      If you want to do this project, you probably can research "chocolate melting point" or "Chocolate science" or "Chocolate Chemistry." You can also watch the videos in this article for more information that you can research. The category would be "food science."

    • profile image

      Michele 

      3 years ago

      This is our first year doing a science project and this was so very helpful in laying it out. I was just wondering if you had any tips on where to begin the research. Or if you have specific ideas you did the research on?

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 

      3 years ago from Indonesia

      This is so cool. My 8 years old girl will love it. Thank you!

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hi JJsmith--that is a great idea to use a bunsen burner. I'm not sure how to link particle theory with this experiment. Anyone else have an idea? What aspect of particle theory were you interested in using JJ?

    • profile image

      jjsmith 

      5 years ago

      I did this experiment, and i used a bunsen burner with a bowl (for the chocolate to melt, however i did white milk and caramel, do you know how i could link particle theory into it? Thanks(:

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      I'm so glad you told me 123--let me know how it turns out!

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      This project takes 1-2 hours to do. Then you will need to spend a couple of hours writing or typing out your information and putting your board together. How long it takes depends on how fancy you do your board.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      Awesome hub and science fair idea. My daughter's 1st one is coming up this spring. I will remember this one! Thanks. Voted up.

    • newusedcarssacram profile image

      newusedcarssacram 

      5 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

      You have represented such a unique idea for science fair.

      Thanks for sharing!!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      This has to be the best science fair project ever. :) To get a thank you note for help getting a 100 is icing on the cake--chocolate, of course.

      You've posted a seriously well-done hub that will be helpful to kids and parents alike, and you've flavored it with fun!

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      5 years ago from United States

      We had plenty of chocolate to sample before and after! That's how we came up with the other science project on tasting chocolate chips! Thanks for stopping by tipogie

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 

      5 years ago from USA

      This looks like a fun project that my nieces and nephews would love to do. I will be sure to pass it along. How hard was it to pass on the temptations of eating the chocolate as it was melting? Did you sample one before it melted or after it was melted? Or, did you eat any at all? Great hub! I know the children in our family will have fun with this. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      I always loved participating in the science fairs (I'm sure that's how I ended up a scientist!). This a good project to do and one that I'm sure kids can really get into. Voted up and sharing:)

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks Media Magnate Mom--yes this is a fun one to do. It inspired one of my other daughters to do the "Which chocolate chips taste the best?" too. Personally, I enjoyed both projects!

    • Media Magnate Mom profile image

      Media Magnate Mom 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      What a fabulous idea for a science project. I'l definitely keep this one in my back pocket for a rainy day, when all I want to do is curl up on the sofa with a hot cocoa. My son will go bonkers over this. Useful and voted up!

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