Plan to have a sweet National Chemistry Week

Sugar and spice and everything nice… that's what National Chemistry Week (NCW) is made of. For 2014, that is! This year’s American Chemical Society (ACS) theme “The Sweet Side of Chemistry — Candy” showcases the chemistry of candy and confections.

Looking for some tasty labs to try for NCW? These two websites will take you for a quick trip to the candy shop.

The ACS NCW site includes Celebrating Chemistry, a hands-on activity publication aimed at grades 4–6.  Students could study the sticky situation of figuring out the amounts of various ingredients in chewing gum or see what happens (or doesn’t happen) to the letters on Skittles or M&M candies when placed in water.

Visit an archive of last month’s ACS/NSTA webinar for candy labs that tie in with many topics relevant to high school chemistry. Two marshmallow Peeps battle it out in the microwave as students explore Charles’ Law. Students decide whether chocolate and gum are two great tastes that do or don’t taste great together, while studying solubility. An inexpensive box of Gobstopper candies leads to student-designed questions and experiments. Or, make your own NCW treats: gummy colloids and Magic Shell with just the right melting point.