This is such a fun, colorful science experiment kids will love!
The crystals take about a week to grow which allows kids to have lots of time to watch the process unfold.
Kool Aid Rock Candy Science Experiment
Start by dipping sticks in water and roll them in sugar. Place on parchment paper and allow them to dry completely.
You want to make sugar water that is fully saturated with sugar. You want 1 part water to 3 parts sugar. To start with combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar over medium heat until sugar is fully dissolved. Add 2 more cups sugar and continue cooking and stirring until it is dissolved.
Empty 1 package Kool Aid in a large canning jar.
Hint: We wanted to try out various flavors so we made 5 flavors and quadrupled the recipe above
Put your sugar dipped (and dried) sticks in the Kool Aid sugar water. We used a clothespin to keep the stick upright.
Now set them out on the counter to let the science part happen.
Hint: To help kids understand the importance of the sugar you dissolved in the water, try putting a stick in plain water and see what happens.
Above you can see the rock crystals start to form on the stick. It will take about a week for your rock candy to form enough to impress your kids.
Hint: Make sure your stick doesn’t touch the bottom of the jar or it may be hard to pull the stick out at the end.
Look at the beautiful crystals it makes. And because of the kool aid it looks and tastes fantastic!
Rock Candy Science ExperimentWhy you soak & dry the sticks?
The stick provides the surface on which the crystals will grow. These tiny sugars make seed crystals provide starting points for larger crystals to grow.
What makes the crystals grow?
You have created a super saturated solution (meaning no more sugar can be dissolved) and it cannot all stay in liquid form so the sugar will come out as the water evaporates slowly from the solution. The sugar molecules will collect on the seed crystals you created on the stick.
The rock candy will actually grow molecule by molecule; ending in about a quadrillion molecules!
(See more about the science behind Rock Candy)