I have seen this gummy worm experiment done with gummy bears a lot, so I thought we would mix it up and do it with some gummy worms. The hardest part about doing this experiment is keeping the kids from eating all the worms.
We put our worm in water before bedtime and then first thing in the morning my daughter wanted to check her worm. She thought it was pretty cool that the worm grew so much over night and that it lost some of it’s color. She then HAD to taste it, and was very disappointed that it did not taste very good at all. So I explained to her that the sugar dissolved in the water so all she was eating was basically gelatin and water.
We then decided that we should try it again and put the worm in apple juice (it was the only juice we had on hand) to see if the worm would suck up the juice and then taste like apple juice. Needless to say that is not what happened. The worm this time around tasted very bitter, not quite as bad tasting as the first one but not very good either.
I encourage you to try different liquids with your kids and see if they like the taste, or leave the worm in the water and see if it will dissolve. Science is all about trying different things to see if they work. So explore and have fun!
What is happening with this experiment? Gummy worms (like gummy bears) are made from Sugar, Water, and Gelatin. So they will soak up water like a sponge, this is also called Osmosis. Osmosis is a process in which water moves through a membrane.
For our taste test, the reason they do not taste the same is because the sugar is dissolving in the water. So all you are tasting is water and gelatin (not very tasty).
Apple Juice (optional)