Friday, September 13, 2013

Science At Home

This week we studied crystals in science. We also learned about heating and cooling.

Did you know that you can dissolve more sugar in hot water than in cold water? I had never thought about it before. I guess I assumed the same amount would eventually dissolve, though it would take longer to dissolve in cold water. You know, like sugar in cold iced tea versus hot tea. Nope.

The very same day we studied crystals, I had a pinterest email come to my inbox showing how to make sugar crystals, also known as rock candy.

It was meant to be.

First, I had to stock up on sugar. I had used all of mine making jelly.

The recipe called for 1 cup of water and 2-3 cups of sugar. Slowly heat and dissolve the sugar, a cup at a time, in the water until no more would dissolve.

The only thing we did differently was to add some blue food coloring. The syrup was super thick as I continued adding cups of sugar. I added a total of 9 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water before calling it good.

We got some craft sticks out, dipped them in water and then sugar, and clothespinned them to hang down into a glass. I added the hot syrup to the cups. The dipping in sugar is supposed to speed up the process of crystallization. Since the hot liquid holds as much sugar as possible, as it cools the extra sugar in the solution, held because it is hot, will turn back into crystal form when cooled and cling to each other and the stick.

I set the glasses in the window and then we waited. It was supposed to take anywhere from 3 to 7 days.

A week later here is the result.

Not very big, but good enough to taste.

Unfortunately, there were also a lot of crystals left on the sides and bottom of the glasses. It was really quite pretty.

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