Key Concepts

For a liquid to disresolve a solid, the molecules of the liquid and also solid must tempt one one more.The bond between the oxygen and hydrogen atoms (O–H bond) in sugar (sucrose) gives the oxygen a slight negative charge and also the hydrogen a slight positive charge. Sucrose is a polar molecule.The polar water molecules entice the negative and positive locations on the polar sucrose molecules which makes sucincreased disfix in water. A nonpolar substance favor mineral oil does not disdeal with a polar substance favor sucrose.

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Students will observe the disaddressing of the sugar coating from an M&M when it is put in water. Students will then help style an experiment to check out if the type of liquid the M&M is placed in affects how much of the coating dissolves.


Students will have the ability to explain, on the molecular level, just how the polar characteristic of water and also sugar connect so that water dissolves sugar. Students will certainly have the ability to identify and regulate the variables in their experiment. Students will additionally be able to describe why a nonpolar liquid, such as mineral oil, is not good at disfixing sugar.


Download the student activity sheet, and distribute one per student as soon as mentioned in the activity. The activity sheet will certainly serve as the “Evaluate” component of each 5-E lesson plan.


Be certain you and the students wear properly fitting goggles. Isopropyl alcohol is flammable. Keep it amethod from flames or spark resources. Read and follow all warnings on the label. Dispose of isopropyl alcohol and mineral oil according to local 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 area an M&M in a cup of water and also observe.

Concern to Investigate

What happens to the sugar and also shade coating of an M&M as soon as it is inserted in water?


Clear plastic cupWaterM&MWhite paper


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

Once the water has actually settled, location 1 M&M in the facility of the cup. Be cautious to keep the water and also M&M as still as possible. Observe for around 1 minute.

Expected Results

The coating will disresolve from the M&M, revealing a white layer under the shade and then the brvery own chocolate underneath. The colored coating of the M&Ms will certainly collect in a circular pattern roughly the M&M. Students might additionally point out the white streaks in the water from the sugar coating.

Discuss student observations.

Ask students:

What carry out you notice about the M&M and also the water? The shade comes off and moves through the water in a circular pattern. What perform you think is happening when the color and also sugar come off the M&M? Point out to students that because the water provides the colored coating come off the M&M and also mix into the water, the water is disfixing the sugar and also shade.

Note: There are actually 2 procedures happening in this task. The shade and sugar are disresolving in the water yet they are also diffusing. In order to emphasis on the amount that dissolves from an M&M, students must look at the amount of coating missing from the M&M, rather of the dimension of the circle of shade in the water.

Knowing what you perform about 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 areas and this is why water is attracted to it.Explore

Have students conduct an experiment to compare exactly how well water, alcohol, and oil disresolve 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 be much better at disaddressing the sugar and also color coating of an M&M?

Discuss via students exactly how to architecture an experiment to compare exactly how well water, alcohol, and vegetable oil disresolve the color and also sugar coating from an M&M. Be certain students determine variables such as:

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

Concern to Investigate

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


3 M&Ms (exact 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 mineral oil to their labeled cups.Place the three cups on a white sheet of paper.

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


Expected Results

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