Jelly bean science projects

Written by jennifer elrod
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Jelly bean science projects
Jelly beans can be used in a variety of ways. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Jelly beans are a type of candy that has a hard outer coating and a soft centre. They come in flavours such as cherry, lemon and orange. Though we normally eat these sweet treats, we can also use them for other purposes. They make a gingerbread house more colourful, and Easter baskets just wouldn't be the same without them. Jelly beans can also be used in science projects. It may seem hard to believe, but these tiny treats really can be used for almost anything.

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Do Our Other Senses Affect Taste?

Testing if other senses affect out sense of taste is a fascinating project for kids. You need to collect several jelly beans of the same flavour. You will start out blindfolded. Someone must pick up a jelly bean, and feed it to you. Hold your nose closed while you chew the jelly bean. What did it taste like? Have someone write down your response. Have the same person feed you the same flavour jelly bean again. This time, don't pinch your nose closed. Did the taste change? Remove the blindfold and feed the same flavour jelly bean to yourself. Does the colour of the jelly bean affect the taste?

What Substance Will Dissolve a Jelly Bean?

Jelly beans are covered in a waxy coating which is hard to penetrate without using a decent amount of force. Chemical reactions can penetrate the surface. Substances that contain a certain level of acidity can dissolve the coating. Test the acidity of different substances using jelly beans. Start out with three separate, empty juice glasses. Pour soda pop in the first glass, vinegar in the second glass and water in the last glass. Drop one jelly bean into each glass. Be sure to use the same flavour jelly bean for each glass, otherwise your results may be skewed. Observe the glasses at least once a day for a week. Record your observations.

Create a 3D Cell

Jelly beans are an easy and safe material to use when creating 3D plant and animal cells. They can be used as vacuoles, lysosomes or the mitochondrians in an animal cell. In a plant cell, green jelly beans can be used to represent the chloroplasts. Gelatin works well as the cytoplasm in either cell. Use other types of candy to represent the nucleus, ribosomes and other parts of the cell. After the class creates their own 3D model, they can eat it!

At What Temperature Does a Jelly Bean Begin to Melt?

Jelly beans may have a strong coating, but they do melt. Find out at what temperature a jelly bean begins to melt. To perform this project, preheat a toaster oven to a medium temperature. Place a jelly bean on a baking pan. Stick the pan inside the toaster oven and watch it closely. Keep an eye on the time as well. If the jelly bean hasn't started melting after four minutes, turn the temperature up a notch. Watch the jelly bean closely. Continue this pattern until you see the jelly bean begin to melt. Record the temperature and amount of time that passes before it begins melting.

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