Skittles Science Fair Project Instructions
Grade 5-9: Which Solution dissolves color fastest?
Grade 2-4: What Happens When Skittles Dissolve?
Rainbow Density Experiment
Grade K-3: How Many Candies of Each Color?
Science You Can Eat!
Did you know that Skittles are the #1 candy for younger kids? That makes Skittles Science a surefire winner. Not only will you have fun eating the leftovers, a project on this colorful candy is sure to draw attention and the colors make a great looking board. Since I live near the factory where these candies are made, I've come up with some fun and interesting experiments which are also super easy. Try them out!
Which Solution Dissolves Skittles Fastest?
Which solution will dissolve the dye on Skittles candy the fastest?
(Alternative question) Do different colors of candy dissolve at different rates?
This project can be good from 4th through 9th grade. The younger kids should probably focus on only one of the questions. Older students can try both questions and do more replicates and more careful examination of the results.
For your hypothesis, you will write your guess about which of the solutions you are going to use will dissolve the dye the quickest. If you are also going to examine whether different colors dissolve at different rates, you can make your guess about that too. You should put your guesses in order from fastest to slowest. You can use a chart like the one below.
Sample Hypothesis: Bleach will dissolve the dye from Skittles fastest. Next fastest will be vinegar, then lemon juice, then 7-up, then Coke, then alcohol, then milk and last, water.
Color Dissolving Chart
- Package of Skittles Candy
- Clear plastic cups
- Lemon juice
- Journal and pen for taking notes.
- Stop watch or timer.
- Camera for taking pictures.
- Make a chart in journal showing the different liquids and Skittle colors so that you can record how long it takes for each Skittle to dissolve in each solution.
- Pour ½ cup of each solution into a separate pint glass jar.
- Drop a yellow Skittle in each jar and time how long it takes for each one to have the color completely disappear. Write down the time on the chart in the journal.
- Take notes about what happens as the Skittles lose color. Notice if there is any bubbling or how the color comes off.
- Drop an orange Skittle in each jar. Time how long each one takes to lose color and take notes on what each looks like.
- Drop a Red Skittle in each jar. Time how long each one takes to lose color and take notes on what each looks like.
- Drop a Green Skittle in each jar. Time how long each one takes to lose color and take notes on what each looks like.
- Drop a Purple Skittle in each jar. Time how long each one takes to lose color and take notes on what each looks like.
- Make a bar chart showing how long each Skittle color took to dissolve in each liquid.
- Look at results and draw conclusions.
- Write down notes about your observations on how each candy dissolved.
- Along with keeping track on your chart of the time that it takes for the Skittles to dissolve, you should carefully watch the Skittles in the different solutions and see how they dissolve. You might notice things like:
- Does the solution bubble when you drop the Skittles in?
- How does the dye dissolve?
- Does it fall off in flakes?
- Drop down and pool underneath the Skittle?
- Move away from the Skittle?
- Does the dye move away as it dissolves or stay around the candy?
- Which color dissolves faster or slower?
- Does the candy change colors as the dye dissolves?
13. Make charts, graphs and written comments to describe results.
14. Older students might want to do some averaging to find out:
- What is the average dissolve time for each solution?
- What is the average dissolve time for each color?
Give the results of your experiment and tell whether your hypothesis was correct or incorrect. Give your ideas about why the experiment turned out the way it did. Real scientists always use one experiment to help them design the next one, so in your conclusion, you should also tell what experiment you would do next, or talk about anything you think you could have done better in this experiment.
The dye on the Skittles dissolved fastest in ______. I was surprised because my conclusion was _______. I thought that bleach takes away stains and so it would dissolve the color fastest. I also thought that acid things like vinegar would dissolve it faster. What happened was _____. I think this is because ____________. If I were to do my experiment over again, I would _____. If I was going to do another experiment, I might like to try crushing the Skittles first like they were being eaten.
What Happens When Skittles Dissolve?
Kids in grades 2-4 are learning about solutions, dissolving, and colors. That makes the following experiment just right for this age. You will be putting the Skittles in a rainbow pattern on a plate and then filling the middle with hot water and observing what happens as the colors dissolve and then mix together. Add to the experiment by trying other liquids or doing it again with other colored candies like gumdrops, Jelly Bellies, or M&Ms.
What happens when you put water on Skittles?
What do you think is going to happen? Take a guess and write down what you think you will see.
Steps in Experiment
- Open the package of Skittles.
- Put them in a circle in rainbow order (red, orange,yellow, green purple) on a white plate.
- Pour a little hot water on the middle of the plate, just enough to have the water touch the candies (get an adult to help to make sure you don't hurt yourself).
- Watch what happens. Use a stopwatch or timer to see how long it takes. Take photos and draw pictures. Write down what you see.
- Compare what you saw to what you guessed.
- Did you guess correctly? What surprised you?
- You can try the experiment again using different liquids like cold water, milk, 7-up, or lemon juice. Did you have the same results?
- What do you think happened?
What happened with hot water
What happened with cold water
- What did you observe? Use your pictures, notes, and table to write down what happened.
- Look at your guess. Were you right? Why do you think the experiment turned out the way it did? Did anything surprise you?
- Real scientists always think about how they could do their experiment differently. Do you have ideas of how you could do this again in a different way? What did you learn?
Rainbow Density Experiment
This experiment creates a really pretty rainbow in a glass but it also teaches an important scientific idea that solutions that have more in them are heavier than solutions that have less dissolved in them. The video below shows a dad doing the experiment with his sons.
What will happen if we dissolve different amounts of colored Skittles in water and then try pouring one color on top of one another?
What will happen if we pour the different colored solutions into one clear glass? Give your guess.
- 1 Bag of Skittles
- Clear plastic cups or pint glass jars
- Warm water
- pipet or eyedrop
- Open up the bag of candy and separate the colors.
- Line up your glasses and put the candies in jars as follows:
- 2 Red
- 4 Orange
- 6 Yellow
- 8 Green
- 10 Purple
Put 2 TB of warm water in each glass. Stir the glasses with spoons until all the candy is dissolved (or leave the candies alone for about 1 hour and they should be completely dissolved).
Notice that all of the liquids look the same, except for the colors, but remember that each liquid contains a different amount of candy sugar which makes each solution a different density and different weight.
To see the difference in density, you can pour the liquids on top of one another in order, however, you will need to do this carefully in order to prevent them from mixing. So use an eyedrop or pipettor to carefully put them in. Or you can pour them in carefully using a spoon. Do it in the reverse rainbow order:
- Pour green on top of purple.
- Pour yellow on top of green.
- Pour orange on top of yellow.
- Pour red on top of orange.
What did you observe? Can you think of another way to test the density of the solutions? Was your guess correct? How could you do this experiment again in a different way? What did you learn?
How Many Skittles of Each Color?
Easy Kindergarten or 1st Grade Science Project
Do you have a favorite color of Skittles? This easy experiment for younger kids lets them separate the colors of a bag to find out whether there are the same number of each color in a bag. For older kids, or to make a more interesting experiment, you can buy several different types of the candy, or multiple bags of the same candy and see if the results are the same each time.
Choose one or more of the following questions:
- How many of each color of Skittles is in a bag?
- Does each bag of the candy have the same number of each color?
- Do different varieties of the candy have different color mixes?
Write down what you think the answer will be to your question. It might even be fun to ask friends and family to guess along with you before you try to find out the answer. Who will be right?
- 1 or more bags of Skittles Candy
- Cups to use to separate colors.
- Paper and pencil to record results.
- Open up the bag and pour it into a bowl.
- Separate the candies by colors.
- Count how many candies there are of each color.
- You can make a bar graph, a pie graph or a chart to show how many you found.
- You might even want to lie the candies up in a row like a bar graph and take a picture of them that way.
- If you are doing other bags of candy, open then up and do the same thing.
Results and Conclusion
- What did you find?
- Were the numbers of each color the same or different?
- Did this match your guess or not?
- If you did more than one bag, then were the results the same?
- Why do you think the colors worked out that way?
- If you were to do the experiment again, what would you do?
Which Do You Like Best?
Which of the experiments are you most likely to do?
Crazy Skittles Facts
Shall I Serve in a Gravy Boat or Tureen?
If you’ve tried to find out more about these #1 candies by looking at the website of the company, you may have been overwhelmed by a blue sky, clouds and a rainbow of pictures and cute quotes. That’s because when Mars launched a social media campaign in 2009 they went all out in attracting their main audience, kids.
So if you want to find out the official skinny on this delectable treat, you’ll need to check Tumber, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube. In fact, it has one of the most “liked” pages on Facebook, perhaps because of zangy quotes like “If your friend had Skittlespox, which color would you eat first?”
Where are Skittles Made?
Photo of Factory
The True Skinny
While made in the U.S. now, this candy was actually invented in 1974 in Britain and brought to America in 1979. Along with the original flavors, the candy comes in:
- Tropical (one of the first new varieties)
- Wild Berry (1989)
- Crazy Cores
- Double Sour (double portion of citric acid on coating)
- Crazy Sours (in Europe)
- Smoothie (2005)
- Ice Cream Treats (sold in urban city specialty stores)
- Skittles Unlimited (2007 Limited edition sold in Canada in black package)
- Extreme Fruit Gum
- Skittles Mint (Europe)
- Chocolate Mix
- Liquorice (Europe)
- Citrus (Australia)
- Fizzl'd Fruits
- Sweets and Sours
- Seattle Mix
- Flavor Mash-ups
- America Mix (red, white and blue)
Political Statement? Believe it or not, this popular candy has gotten mixed up in some controversies. Protestors against the shooting of Trayvon Martin used the candy because he was carrying it when he was shot. Mars got mixed up again in controversy when Donald Trump tweeted an analogy between the candy and refugees.
Questions & Answers
Can I use the Skittles Science Project for the Maker Fair at my school?
You will have to ask your instructor of the school officials to see if this project would qualify for your maker fair.