Key Concepts

For a liquid to dissettle a solid, the molecules of the liquid and solid must lure one an additional.The bond between the oxygen and also hydrogen atoms (O–H bond) in sugar (sucrose) offers the oxygen a slight negative charge and also the hydrogen a slight positive charge. Succlimbed is a polar molecule.The polar water molecules attract the negative and positive areas on the polar sucrose molecules which provides sucincreased disresolve in water. A nonpolar substance choose mineral oil does not disdeal with a polar substance like sucincreased.

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Students will observe the disresolving of the sugar coating from an M&M once it is placed in water. Students will certainly then aid style an experiment to watch if the type of liquid the M&M is placed in affects exactly how much of the coating dissolves.


Students will be able to define, on the molecular level, exactly how the polar characteristic of water and sugar communicate so that water dissolves sugar. Students will certainly be able to identify and also control the variables in their experiment. Students will likewise have the ability to describe why a nonpolar liquid, such as mineral oil, is not great at disaddressing sugar.


Downfill the student task sheet, and distribute one per student when stated in the activity. The activity sheet will serve as the “Evaluate” component of each 5-E lesson plan.


Be sure you and the students wear appropriately fitting goggles. Isopropyl alcohol is flammable. Keep it ameans from flames or spark sources. Read and follow all warnings on the label. Dispose of isopropyl alcohol and mineral oil according to neighborhood regulations. Warn studens not to eat the M&M’s.

Materials for Each Group

M&M’sWaterMineral oilIsopropyl alcohol (70%)Small white plastic plate3 clear plastic cupsWhite paper

Have students place an M&M in a cup of water and also observe.

Inquiry to Investigate

What happens to the sugar and also shade coating of an M&M once it is placed in water?


Clear plastic cupWaterM&MWhite paper


Pour sufficient room-temperature water into clear plastic cup so that the water is deep enough to completely cover an M&M and place this cup on a item of white paper.

Once the water has settled, location 1 M&M in the center of the cup. Be cautious to save the water and M&M as still as feasible. Observe for around 1 minute.

Expected Results

The coating will certainly dissolve from the M&M, revealing a white layer under the color and then the brvery own chocolate underneath. The colored coating of the M&Ms will collect in a circular pattern about the M&M. Students may additionally cite the white streaks in the water from the sugar coating.

Discuss student monitorings.

Ask students:

What execute you notice around the M&M and the water? The color comes off and moves through the water in a circular pattern. What execute you think is happening as soon as the color and also sugar come off the M&M? Point out to students that bereason the water provides the colored coating come off the M&M and mix into the water, the water is dissolving the sugar and also shade.

Note: There are actually two processes happening in this activity. The shade and also sugar are dissolving in the water however they are also diffmaking use of. In order to emphasis on the amount that dissolves from an M&M, students should look at the amount of coating absent from the M&M, rather of the size of the circle of shade in the water.

Knowing what you perform around the polarity of water, why execute you think water dissolves sugar?Students may think that sugar is made of ionic bonds favor salt. Or they could think that sugar has positive and negative locations and also this is why water is attracted to it.Explore

Have students conduct an experiment to compare how well water, alcohol, and also oil dissettle the sugar and shade coating of an M&M.

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Ask students to make a prediction:

Do you think water, alcohol, or oil would certainly be much better at dissolving the sugar and also color coating of an M&M?

Discuss via students how to style an experiment to compare how well water, alcohol, and vegetable oil disresolve the shade and sugar coating from an M&M. Be certain students identify variables such as:

Amount of water, alcohol, and also oil usedTemperature of each liquidSame shade of M&MTime and also area the M&M’s are placed in each liquid

Inquiry to Investigate

Is water, alcohol, or oil better at disresolving the shade and sugar coating from an M&M?


3 M&Ms (same color)WaterMineral oilIsopropyl alcohol (70%)3 clear plastic cupsWhite paper


Label 3 cups Water, Alcohol, and Oil. Add 15 mL of water, alcohol, and also mineral oil to their labeled cups.Place the 3 cups on a white sheet of paper.

At the exact same time, include 1 M&M to each liquid. Then gently swirl the liquid and also M&M in each cup for around 30 seconds.


Expected Results

Water—The sugar and also color dissettle from the M&M. Alcohol—The color dissolves only slightly and also the sugar coating doesn’t seem to disdeal with.Oil—Neither the color nor the sugar dissolves