On The Science of Candy And Homework

When we started at the Montessori school we love, it included an annual science fair. Science is so not my strong suit, but I found a cute soap project for Brenia to do for her kindergarten year. The next year, we ended up transferring Stacia to the same school, mere weeks before the projects were due. They offered a free pass, but I wasn’t having it—she would be diving right into the school culture.

But, I really needed something fun to spark her interest. And, we needed something that wasn’t time consuming—we were fresh out of time to grow plants. She ended up choosing to test different gluten free flours in chocolate chip cookies. I encouraged this because our gluten free lifestyle was at the heart of our school issues in the first place.

She baked 4 different cookies, and had people sample to see which one most closely matched the original wheat-filled cookie. (It was Pamela’s Baking Mix, by the way.) It was a lot of fun for her first big project at a new school. Plus, she was able to learn that she can have good, chocolate chip cookies while sticking to her gluten free diet.

I took the idea of scientifically learning about our food issues to Brenia’s project as well—candy chromatography taught us there is red dye in both red and brown candies, but the orange ones are solely made from yellow. Thus, safe(ish) for my red-dye allergic girls. And, we used candy again last year when she learned about animal survival & camouflage by seeing which colors survived on tissue paper when we were unleashed to eat them!

So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that my girls once again selected a candy-based science fair project. This year, we set out to prove what I’ve been saying for years—Reese’s Easter eggs are by far the best! Brenia tested several people on minis, miniatures, regular cups, big cups and eggs. She tested Reese’s lovers, chocolate lovers, peanut butter lovers, chocolate haters and peanut butter haters. And, of course, I was right all along—the eggs were a clear favorite!

Stacia set out to prove me wrong on the how & why. I was convinced the peanut butter to chocolate ratio had a direct relationship to taste preference. She was convinced it wouldn’t matter at all. It turned out, we were both kinda right. The eggs did have the highest ratio, but the rest of the sizes didn’t match up to taste preferences. (They did, however, match up to mine so I think there are a ton of scientific conclusions we could draw from this experiement.)

On the surface, they played with candy for two weeks. But, there was a real scientific process to it. Stacia’s project was actually very involved—and, there was a ton of math involved in her calculations. Luckily, her dad was there to guide her through it. It was effective in teaching her that there are practical applications to the things she’s learning in school.

And, using candy for their projects has been effective in teaching both girls that homework (and science!) can be a lot of fun. How do you get your kids interested in their assignments?


Hershey’s provided the candy we needed to complete this project. We were given samples of all Reese’s sizes for the girls to test. I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% real and honest.

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Article by justheather

Heather Sokol is the married mother of 4 amazing, active children. They have created in her a Sports Mom, Scout Mom, Allergy Mom & avid coupon clipper. Is that miscellaneous enough for you? She shares her deals & tips at Inexpensively.com and reports progress on learning to be a grownup at JustHeather.com. justheather tagged this post with: , Read 90 articles by
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