Candy Experiments & Women’s History Month — Yes, These Things Go Together

5d29e-floatingcandylettersWe’re pretty big fans of The Big Bang Theory in my house. My 7-year-old daughter even has a hammer named Dr. Sheldon Cooper (yes, a hammer, and yes, it’s a long story!). But I think I truly fell for the geek comedy with their Women’s History Month storyline this month.

The scientists were trying to drum up more interest in the sciences among young girls. Naturally that meant sending a bunch of uber dorks back to middle school, and hilarity ensued.

Amusement aside, as the mother of a daughter, I appreciated the show’s efforts to bring the issue of girls and science to the masses.

It’s one I’m struggling with in my house in no small part because I am not the kind of girl who was drawn to the STEM subjects. I hid in the corner of the playground with my latest Anne of Green Gables book and was perfectly content growing up.
Like me, my kid is a reader. And I don’t mean she reads.

I mean, last week she came home, put her hands on her hips and announced angrily that the teacher referred to someone else as always having “her nose stuck in a book.” Got that? The teacher was talking about SOMEONE ELSE, not her.

I could almost hear the “as iffffff.” Got the Clueless reference? No? I’m old.

Moving on.

She’s a reader, like me.

But my kid is not me, something I try to remind myself of daily. And so she still has a chance to be the little science superstar that the guys in Big Bang were trying to court.

And now … the point of all this long lead-up.

We have found a way in with the kid. Candy Experiments!

Yes, it’s everything your 7-year-old heart would have melted for. You take candy and get to make glorious messes!

Our new project is based on a book named, ahem, Candy Experiments (I know, you’re shocked) by Loralee Leavitt that showed up on my doorstep one day unannounced (that’s the disclaimer that it was free).

Kid picked it up because a. she likes to read and b. it had the word candy in the title. And she has been building grand plans ever since, which is OK by me because short of spending hours on Pinterest trying to find science projects that kids are actually into, I am clueless about this kind of thing.

Even better; each project seems to spur something in her brain, pushing her to make up her own “experiments.” Example? She and a cousin learned what water does to cotton candy, and when they came up with a big vat of colored water, they decided they wanted to see what would happen when they froze it (as it turns out, nothing interesting … but the point is they were excited to try!).

Here’s her favorite at the moment: Floating Letters!


Drop M&Ms in warm water with the letter side facing up, wait a few minutes, and you’ll get to see ’em float (process further explained over at Candy Experiments).

And of course, the big hit of the day … getting to eat our “experiments.”

Candy Experiments & Women's History Month -- Yes, These Things Go Together

Help a mother out … what are your tips for getting kids interested in science?

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  1. Maria Malaveci says:

    These look great! I will have to try some with my kids!

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