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        Candy Chromatography: Lesson Plan

        How are the color pigments in Skittles and M&Ms different?

        Lesson Summary

        How are the color pigments in Skittles and M&Ms different?

        Learning Objectives

        Students will be able to determine what pigments are present in Skittles and M&Ms.

        Supplies

        1. 2 green Skittles
        2. 2 green M&Ms
        3. Aluminum foil
        4. Water
        5. Dropper
        6. Toothpicks Candy Chromatography 3
        7. Pencil
        8. 2+ coffee filters
        9. Scissors
        10. Ruler
        11. Salt
        12. 2 tall clear cups
        13. Tape

        Technology Integration

        Culminating Activity

        1. Cut the filter paper into strips that measure 6cm x 8 cm with straight edges.
        2. Using a pencil, write M&Ms on one strip and Skittles on the other. 
        3. At the bottom of each strip, use a ruler to find the point 1 cm from the bottom of the paper. Make pencil dots at 2cm and 4 cm across.
        4.  Study the color of the green Skittle and the green M&M. Record observations and make predictions.
        5.  Cut out 2 small pieces of foil. 
        6. Place 2 separate dots of water on top of each of the pieces of foil.
        7. Place a green M&M on each drop on one piece of foil. 
        8. Place a green Skittle on each drop on the other piece of foil. 
        9. Wait a minute for the candy color to seep into the water. 
        10. Dip a toothpick into the pool of green M&M dye. Touch it just above where you made a pencil dot at 2cm on the filter strip labeled M&M. 
        11. Dab another dot at the 4cm on the same green M&M filter paper. 
        12. Using another toothpick, dip into the pool of green Skittle dye. Touch it just above where you made a pencil dot at 2cm on the filter strip labeled Skittles. Candy Chromatography 4
        13. Dab another dot at the 4cm on the same green Skittle filter paper. 
        14. Let the dots dry. This should take a minute or so. 
        15. Repeat steps #10-14 at least 4 times to saturate the color, allowing it to dry between each application. 
        16. While you are waiting, taste the green M&M and green Skittle does the green color taste the same in both candies? 
        17. Make a salt-water solution by combining 3 cups of water with 1/8 tsp of salt. 
        18.  Pour some salt solution into each of your glasses about 1 cm deep. 
        19. Hang each of your filter papers so it is just touching the edge of the water. Tape it in place to the side of the glass. 
        20. When you see the wet layer of salt water has travelled up ½ cm from the top of the strip, remove it from the liquid. 
        21. Set the strips on a clean, flat dry surface to dry. 
        22. Observe the strips. Try to match the bands you see to the dye colors on the candy wrappers. Measure and record the distance each dye travelled. 
        23. You should expect to see yellow green and blue dyes on the strips. The Skittle should show more yellow prominence and M&M should show more blue prominence

         

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