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Candy Waterfalls: Can Candy Flow Like Water?

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7 buddy reviews
by Teisha Rowland, PhD
Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
physics, liquids, solids, flow rate, sizes, density
Bottle of Nerds candy above a bowl.

Introduction

Have you ever poured sand out of a bucket, or poured cereal out of a box, and noticed it is a lot like pouring water? It is because sand and cereal are granular materials. This means they are made up of solid particles, but they can actually flow like liquids! Candies, like Skittles®, M&M's®, Nerds® candies and many others, are also granular materials. In this science activity, you will investigate how the size and shape of granular materials affect how they flow. And what better way to do this investigation than with some sweets! So get ready to put your candy to some good scientific use.

Credits

Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Sheet of paper and pen or pencil
  • Calculator
  • Stopwatch
  • Clear plastic water bottle, 500 mL
  • Measuring cup. A graduated one with a spout works best.
  • Bowl, medium to large in size
  • Different types of candies with different sizes, such as Nerds, Junior Mints, and M&M's (at least 3 types, and at least 1 C of each type). Alternatively, you could use other types of small, solid materials. Tip: For the best results, try to only use candies with similar surface textures and avoid very light-weight candies, such as ones that are hollow or air-puffed.
  • Adult helper
    Materials needed to do the candy flow rate science activity.
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Active Time
10-20 minutes
Total Project Time
10-20 minutes
Key Concepts
physics, liquids, solids, flow rate, sizes, density