Do Some Colors of M&Ms Melt Faster than Others?
Talk It Over
M&M candies advertise that they "melt in your mouth, not in your hand." What do you think that means? Do M&Ms ever melt before you can eat them? Do you think some colors of M&Ms melt at a lower temperature than others? How can you find out?
- White paper (not Styrofoam) plates
- Jar lid
- Package of M&M candies, plain (not peanut)
- School glue
- Access to a microwave oven
- Center the jar lid on a paper plate. Draw around it with a pencil. Make a plate with a circle for each color of M&M candy you want to test.
- Open the package of candies and divide the colors. For each color, you will need 5 candies to test.
- Put 5 tiny drops of school glue at equal distances around the pencil circle. Put 5 candies of a single color—with the M down—on 1 plate, 1 on each drop of glue. Make the same kind of plate for each color you want to test. Let the glue dry before going on. Your plates should look like this:
- Microwave each plate, one at a time, on full power, in 20-second increments. Look for cracks. Record the total number of candies that are cracked at each time interval. Also record other observations in as much detail as you can.
Don't touch the candies. They can get very hot! Also, do not eat the candies you experiment with.
Follow the "Go" procedure, but use only yellow and one other color.
Follow the "Go," procedure with all the colors. Then repeat the experiment with peanut M&Ms. Is there a difference?
Show Your Results
Use a data table like this for "Go":
|Color of Candy||Number of Cracked Candies|
|0 Sec||20 Sec||40 Sec||60 Sec||80 Sec||100 Sec||120 Sec|
|Observations . . .and so on|
Make a line graph showing the number of cracked candies at each time interval. Use a different color line for each color of candy. Display your plates along with your observations so people can see differences for themselves.
For "Go Easy," use the same kind of data table as for "Go," but use fewer rows. Make a bar graph that compares the time required to crack all 5 candies. State in a single sentence a conclusion supported by your data.
For "Go Far," make data tables and line graphs for each color and kind of candy you test. Draw conclusions and give reasons for them.
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