Pumpkin Ghosts

Good evening scientists! We have another spooky science Halloween themed experiment for you to try out with your little ones today. We made ghost pumpkins and it was soo much fun!

Materials

Mellowcreme Pumpkin Candies

White Vinegar

Tap Water

Light Corn Syrup

Vegetable Oil

Small Clear Cups

Sharpie Marker

Optional Other Liquids like Milk, Tea, or Lemon Lime Soda (It was difficult for us to see in the tea, and milk)

Investigation

  1. Label the small clear cups using the Sharpie Marker. Line them up and fill 1/2 to 3/4 of the way up with chosen liquid (enough so that one of the Mellowcreme Pumpkins will be completely covered).
  2. Place one Mellowcreme Pumpkin in each cup.
  3. Set aside cups in a location that they are easily checked yet will not get moved or knocked easily. Check on the pumpkins after 10-15 minutes, then at least once a half hour until the pumpkins that are reacting (dissolving) finish transforming into ghosts. (1 hour +)

Talking Points

In this investigation we dissolved the candy centers from Mellowcreme Pumpkin candies when they were submerged (covered by) certain liquids. We found that when the pumpkin was exposed to an acid (pH less then 7) the candy centers dissolved. This left behind a gelatin “ghost” of the pumpkin candy. Gelatin does not break down in the acids that we used.

This experiment also shows that the density of the candy dyes was more dense then both tap water and vinegar, that was why the dye sinks down to the bottom of the cups in these two liquids. Density is how much stuff (molecules) is packed into a specific space. A material that is more dense will sink in a liquid, if it is less dense it will float. The density of the lemon lime soda that we used was the same or very close to the density of the dye in the candy, the whole glass of the soda was dyed as the candy dissolved.

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