Lesson: Gummy Bear Experiment

David Kujawski Bird Middle East Walpole, MA
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Lesson Objective

YWBAT: 1) Utilize your scientific measuring skills and experimental design knowledge to design an experiment that tests the effect of water on gummy bear size.

Lesson Plan

DO NOW: Have students think about the factors that could affect the size of a gummy bear when it's dropped in water.  Have students share them.

Common answers to Do Now: Temperature of water, amount of water, color of gummy bear, brand of gummy bear, etc.

Overview of activity:  This is a 3 day activity.  Have students bring in gummy bears.  Remember: gummy bears are produced in a factory that handles peanuts, so they should not eat them!  Day 1: Design experiment, Day 2: Set up experiment and take initial measurements, and Day 3: Students gather data on the results, graph their results, conclude and create a poster.  One poster is created per group of 4-5 students.  This takes the place of individual lab reports which take a lot of time to grade.  Examples of posters are included in uploaded documents.

Class set up: Desks are grouped prior to students arriving (Class set up picture).  You should know who is sitting where prior to class beginning.

DAY 1:

1) Have students write down the variable that they would like to manipulate in the experiment.

2) They should share that with their group.

3) They should then vote on what variable they would like to test.  Teacher should circulate to make sure that the students are only testing one variable at a time and that the variable can be tested in the classroom.

4) Complete (Classwork worksheet 1) Students should then pose a question, based on the variable that they'd like to test.

Example: What effect does water temperature have on gummy bear growth?

5) Have students convert their question in to an experiment.  The hypothesis should be in the form of an "If...then..." statement.  If (I change this), then (this will happen).

Example: If the temperature of the water is hot, then the gummy bear will shrink.

6) Have students identify the materials needed to run the experiment and then write a clear, step-by-step-procedure. (Refer to fluff sandwich lesson)

7) Circulate around the room and check in with groups.

DAY 2:

1) Have students collect their materials: water, cups, tape to label cups, gummy bears (different brands), rulers, graduated cylinders, triple beam balances, etc.  I like to have the water already poured into beakers or plastic cups prior to the kids arriving.

2) Have students follow their procedures

3) Students should store their cups in a safe place (see storage picture)

4) Clean-up

DAY 3:

1) Students will gather their cups

2) Measure and record their results

3) Graph their results

4) Write a conclusion

5) Create their lab report poster (this may take another day, depending on the class)

Instructions for lab report poster:

Students should place the question and hypothesis at the top of the poster.  In addition, the poster should include the following sections: materials, variables (manipulated, responding and controlled), procedure, data table and graph, and conclusion.  I just write this on the board and show them an example of a poster from a previous year.  (See Poster example pictures) Grading: (Gummy bear rubric)

This lesson is modified/improved from T. Trimpe (creator of lesson)

Lesson Resources

 Poster picture 12,426 Storage area picture 5,434 Class set up pic 2 5,687 Class set up picture 4,286 Classwork worksheet 1   Classwork 14,679 gummy bear rubric   Rubric 9,703